Options Industry Sets Ninth Consecutive Record For Annual Volume December Volume Exceeds 1999 By 16.1 Percent

ChicagoJanuary 4, 2001

For the ninth year in a row, The Options Industry Council (OIC) reported a new record for total equity options volume. Volume in 2000 reached 672,871,757 equity contracts, an impressive 51 percent increase over 1999’s record volume of 444,765,224 contracts. Average daily volume in 2000 was 2,670,126 contracts, up from 1999’s average daily volume of 2,015,441.

December equity options volume was 59,121,603 contracts (22,935,054 puts and 36,186,549 calls), 16.1 percent higher than the 50,908,243 contracts traded (14,622,044 puts and 36,286,199 calls) in December 1999.

Equity open interest stood at 67,635,806 contracts for the month-end of December versus 52,835,522 contracts in December 1999, representing a 28 percent increase. 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.

"The historically volatile markets in 2000 bred a great deal of activity in the options industry. We’re extremely pleased with this benchmark year and the unprecedented growth in volume," said Paul Stevens, OIC President.

2000 Records

In addition to annual record volume, several other records were repeatedly set and broken in 2000. On Oct. 20 new records were set for daily volume (4,812,712 contracts) and equity open interest (74,923,709 contracts). October also established a new monthly volume record with 70,079,672 contracts.

OIC Educational Efforts in 2000

During 2000, OIC recognized the growth of investor interest in equity options by offering more than 90 free educational seminars nationwide seminars. In July, OIC launched a free options information center for options education. Staffed with former traders and industry professionals, investors and brokers have access to the center through e-mail (options@theocc.com) or by calling 1-888-OPTIONS. The center complements OIC’s Web site, www.888options.com, which was launched in September and features online classes, options tools and data and access to free equity options materials.

New Member

As the marketplace adapted to technological and competitive challenges this year, the options industry welcomed a new entrant. The International Securities Exchange (ISE), which began operation in May, officially joined OIC and its educational effort in September.

The 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 (6784), or sending e-mail to options@theocc.com.

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