July Volume Up 10.7 Percent Over 2000 Equity Open Interest Hits New High

ChicagoAugust 3, 2001

The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that July equity options volume reached 55,954,942 contracts (22,245,677 puts and 33,709,265 calls), a 10.7 percent increase over the 50,540,499 contracts (16,329,660 puts and 34,210,839 calls) traded in July 2000.

Equity open interest hit a new high on July 20 with 86,414,052 contracts, surpassing the previous single day high on April 20 with 83,979,530 contracts. Month-end equity open interest reached 72,222,131 contracts, representing a 32.8 percent increase over month-end equity open interest of 54,368,497 contracts in July 2000.

Equity open interest, the total number of options contracts not yet exercised or allowed to expire, is seen as an indication of longer-term investing in these instruments.

"While the summer options volume remains quiet, July's record equity open interest suggests investors are utilizing options as a hedging tool," said Paul Stevens, President, OIC. "We're encouraged that investors continue to use options regardless of the market's direction and level of activity."

Average daily equity options volume in July was 2,664,521 contracts, a 5.4 percent increase over 2,527,025 contracts traded in July 2000.Year-to-date equity options volume is 446,100,301 contracts, a 17.3 percent increase over the same time frame in 2000 when 380,151,401 contracts traded.

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, International Securities Exchange, Pacific Exchange, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and The Options Clearing Corporation. OIC's free educational programs include: an educational Web site at www.888options.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.

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