The OIC Announces Best February on Record as Options Trading Continues to Grow

Chicago—March 3, 2005

The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that the monthly volume for equity options last month was the highest February volume ever, as 11,159,338 more contracts traded than in February 2004.

Equity options volume reached 97,485,112 contracts (39,142,039 puts and 58,343,073 calls) and February 2005 equity options volume increased by 12.92 percent over the 86,325,774 contracts (32,826,566 puts and 53,499,208 calls) traded in February 2004.

Last month's distinction as the best February followed January's posting of the highest monthly volume, which had followed 2004's record setting annual volume. "The trend of record options volume continued into February, but it's not just the number of contracts traded that is increasing," said Gina McFadden, Executive Director of OIC. "The number of people registered for OIC's educational seminars was also up last month indicating that the chances of continuing this positive trading volume trend are good."

Additional volume statistics reported by The Options Clearing Corporation include:

  • Total options volume of 106,292,289 (up 15 percent from Feb. 2004)
  • Average daily equity options volume 5,130,795 (up 12.92 percent from Feb. 2004)
  • Average daily total options volume 5,594,331 (up 15 percent from Feb. 2004)

February Highlights

On Feb. 18, total options volume reached 6,885,208, joining the list of top 10 highest total options volume days as the ninth highest trading day on record.

OIC's options professionals conducted workshops and exhibited educational materials at two financial forums in Canada - in Toronto and, for the first time, Vancouver - as OIC continues to widen the audience for options trading.

About OIC

OIC is a non-profit association funded by the U.S. options exchanges and The Options Clearing Corporation. OIC's free resources include: The Investor Services call center at 1-888-OPTIONS, an educational Web site at www.888options.com, evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada, educational literature and software.

Press Contacts

Jennifer Saputo
312-322-6276
jsaputo@theocc.com
Jim Binder
312-322-9853
jbinder@theocc.com
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