Equity Open Interest Reaches New Heights In July

ChicagoAugust 3, 2000

Although the summer months are historically sleepy for the financial markets, The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that equity open interest reached a record high on July 21, with 65,498,515 contracts. This record surpasses the one recently set on April 20 with 63,292,614 contracts. At month-end, equity open interest stood at 54,368,497 contracts.

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

July equity options volume hit 50,540,499 contracts, surpassing last July's total of 33,862,599 contracts by 49%. Average daily equity volume in July was 2,527,025 contracts, a 57% increase over the 1,612,505 contracts traded in July 1999. Year to date cleared equity contract volume is 380,151,401, which is 62% higher than the 234,204,077 contracts cleared during the same time in 1999.

"The new record in open interest suggests to us that more investors are considering options as a long-term investing tool, " said Paul Stevens, Options Industry Council President. "We hope that investors will continue their options education and utilize the flexibility and protection that options can provide for both short-term and long-term investment goals."

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 Options Industry Council is a non-profit organization founded in 1992 by the nation's options exchanges to provide investor education about equity options. Today, its members include The American Stock Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Pacific Exchange, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and The Options Clearing Corporation. OIC's free educational programs include: an educational Web site at www.optionscentral.com, evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada, instructional videos, educational brochures and interactive software. More information on available by visiting the Web site or calling 1-800-952-8665.

Options Industry Equity Options Volume Statistics

Annual Volume (in equity contracts)
1999 444,765,224
1998 329,641,875
1997 272,998,701
1996 199,117,729
1995 174,380,236
1994 149,932,665
1993 131,726,101
1992 106,484,452



Monthly Volume (in equity contracts)
2000 1999
July 50,540,499 33,862,599
June 50,867,008 31,892,516
May 51,028,369 30,507,167
April 55,549,490 37,656,322
March 66,172,654 34,524,034
February 49,803,089 26,955,448
January 56,190,292 34,804,991
Y-T-D 380,151,501 234,204,077
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