Equity Options Trading Through October Surpasses Year-End 1998 Figure Monthly and Daily Volumes Catapult to Highest Ever

ChicagoNovember 8, 1999

With two months remaining in 1999, The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today, that a record 346,106,827 equity options contracts traded through October, surpassing 1998's year-end total of 329,641,875 cleared contracts. Trading volume in October soared 43% from the same period last year - an all-time record of 44,343,625 contracts changed hands.

October 15 marked the fourth one-day volume record in 1999 with 3,413,080 equity option contracts traded. That same day, October saw the highest daily equity open interest ever with a record 49,733,985 open contracts.

The timing of 1999's one-day volume records indicate a strong correlation between investors' use of options as a risk management tool and volatile markets," commented Paul Stevens, OIC's President.

Equity open interest is the total number of options contracts not yet exercised or allowed to expire and one indication of longer-term investing in equity options.

Equity open interest is the total number of options contracts not yet exercised or allowed to expire and one indication of longer-term investing in equity options.

An equity option is the right but not the obligation to either buy or sell 100 shares of stock at a predetermined price (strike price) on or before a fixed date (expiration date).

The OIC, which includes the American Stock Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Pacific Exchange, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and The Options Clearing Corporation, has an extensive educational program. The program, aimed at current and potential investors and their brokers, includes the following free resources: a web site at www.optionscentral.com, evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada, two instructional videos: "How To Optimize Your Stock Portfolio With Options" and "Investing with LEAPS" (available at 800/952-8665), and "The Options Toolbox" educational software available through the 800 number or web site. A print and broadcast advertising campaign has resulted in more than 250,000 inquiries seeking literature and videotapes.

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