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Options Industry Sets New Monthly Volume Record Two back-to-back trading days join top 10 highest days on record

Chicago—February 2, 2005

The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) and the Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that January 2005 set a new monthly volume record when 117,452,308 total options contracts traded, 2.25 percent higher than the previous record, set in November 2004.

During January, back-to-back trading days joined the list of top 10 highest total options volume days. The days started with the third-highest trading day on record on Jan. 20 when 8,138,228 contracts traded, followed by the second-highest day on record on Jan. 21 with 8,483,217.

"Last year we saw our first 8 million contract day, and now in 2005 we have already seen 2 days in excess of 8 million contracts." said Michael Cahill, President and COO, OCC. "Two days in a row last month at more than 8 million contracts may have caused some people to do a double take, however, at OCC, we see it as added proof of the continued growing importance of options. This is also why we've prepared our systems and provide the capacity to handle many more consecutive high-volume days."

Equity options volume reached 108,257,628 contracts (44,301,010 puts and 63,956,618 calls) and January 2005 equity options volume increased by 1.73 percent over the 106,416,257 contracts (37,772,315 puts and 68,643,942 calls) traded in January 2004.

Average daily equity options volume for January was 5,412,881 contracts, up 1.73 percent from 5,320,813 contracts in January 2004.

On Jan. 21, equity open interest reached a new single day high with 171,293,467 contracts. Equity open interest is the total number of options contracts not yet exercised or allowed to expire.

"Traditionally, volume and open interest are high in January," said Gina McFadden, Executive Director, OIC. "But coming on the heels of a record-breaking year when - for the first time - more than a billion contracts traded, these new monthly records show the continued growth and expanding appeal of the options product."

OCC Background

OCC, founded in 1973, is the largest clearing organization in the world for options and was the first clearing house to receive a 'AAA' credit rating from Standard & Poor's Corporation. Operating under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, OCC provides clearing and settlement services for the American Stock Exchange, the Boston Options Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, CBOE Futures Exchange, International Securities Exchange, OneChicago, Pacific Exchange, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and Philadelphia Board of Trade. More information about OCC is available through its Web site at www.optionsclearing.com.

About OIC

OIC is a non-profit association funded by the U.S. options exchanges and The Options Clearing Corporation. OIC's free resources include: The Investor Services call center at 1-888-OPTIONS, an educational Web site at www.888options.com, evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada, educational literature and software.

Press Contacts

Jennifer Saputo
312-322-6276
jsaputo@theocc.com
Jim Binder
312-322-9853
jbinder@theocc.com
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