OIC Announces Year-To-Date Volume Reached New High In November Equity open interest reaches new peak day

Chicago—December 8, 2003

The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that in November year-to-date equity options volume of 748,358,403 contracts surpassed the 2001 equity options volume record of 722,680,249 contracts. Year-to-date equity options volume is 13.21 percent ahead of last year with 661,040,685 contracts.

November equity options volume was 70,927,088 contracts (27,419,569 puts and 43,507,519 calls) vs. 58,622,690 contracts (22,947,217 puts and 35,675,473 calls) in November 2002, a 20.98 percent increase.

Equity options open interest reached a new one-day peak record on Nov. 21, with 136,615,478 contracts, surpassing the previous record set on Oct. 17 with 130,676,335 contracts. November month-end equity options open interest of 120,699,827 contracts rose 24.44 from November's 2002 equity options open interest of 96,997,274 contracts.

Equity open interest is the total number of options contracts not yet exercised or allowed to expire.

"Attaining a new record high for equity options volume is an encouraging sign to the options industry as well as an indication that investors view the options product as versatile during different market situations," said Paul Stevens, President, OIC. "With the relentless growth in equity open interest, we're encouraged that investors are using options not only as a short-term hedging tool but also a longer-term investment product."

Average daily equity options volume for November was 3,733,005 contracts vs. 2,931,135 contracts in November 2002, reflecting a 27.35 percent increase. The highest trading day for equity options volume occurred on Nov. 21 when 4,760,582 contracts traded.

About OIC

OIC is a non-profit association funded by the American Stock Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Securities Exchange, Pacific Exchange, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and The Options Clearing Corporation. OIC's free resources include: The Investor Services Call call center at 1-888-OPTIONS, an educational Web site at www.888options.com, evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada, instructional videos and educational literature and software.

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