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May Equity Options Volume Up 67% From 1999 Year-to-date volume up 65 percent

ChicagoJune 7, 2000

The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that equity options volume for May was 51,028,369 contracts - surpassing last May's total by 67%. May 1999 volume was 30,507,167 contracts.

Open interest at the end of the month stood at 52,503,870 open 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.

Average daily equity options volume in May was 2,319,471 contracts, up from 1,525,358, or 52%, over the same period last year. Year to date cleared contract volume is 278,743,394 up 65% from the same time frame in 1999, a record year.

"The interest in equity options continues to grow as more investors are educated on the flexibility and protection that options can provide in any market," said Paul Stevens, Options Industry Council President. "This is evident by the continued growth in market volume over 1999, despite very different market conditions."

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 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, evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada, instructional videos, educational brochures and interactive software. More information on available by visiting the Web site or calling 1-800-952-8665.

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