Year-To-Date Volume For Equity Options Nears Total For 1999 August Equity Options Volume Increases 51%

ChicagoSeptember 6, 2000

The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that year-to-date equity options volume of 431,653,994 contracts is just 13,111,231 contracts short of breaking the total annual volume record set in 1999, with 444,765,224 contracts. In addition, year-to-date volume is 63 percent ahead of the 264,351,740 contracts traded during the same time frame in 1999. August volume of 51,502,593 equity options contracts is 51 percent higher than the 34,148,663 contracts traded in August 1999.

Equity open interest for August reached its monthly peak on August 18 at 64,055,912 contracts, just under the recent record set on July 21, with 65,498,515 contracts. At month-end, equity open interest stood at 59,147,553 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.

"Equity options volume continues at a strong pace ahead of last year," said Paul Stevens, Options Industry Council President. "In the current market, we're seeing investors use options for protection, with strategies such as covered call writing or buying protective puts. The OIC is pleased to provide information on these strategies for investors through its seminars, Web site or through the call center at 1-888-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 Options Industry Council (OIC) 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 these resources is available by visiting the Web site, calling 1-888-OPTIONS, or sending e-mail to options@theocc.com.

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
August 51,502,593 34,148,663
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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