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OIC Announces All-Time Volume and Open Interest Records Month-end volume increases 71 percent

Chicago—February 4, 2004

The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that January equity options volume of 106,416,257 contracts (37,772,315 puts and 68,643,942 calls) reached a new month-end high for equity options volume, surpassing the previous record set in October 2003 with 88,444,046 contracts. January 2004 equity options volume increased by 71.25 percent over the 62,141,181 contracts (25,485,877 puts and 36,655,304 calls) traded in January 2003.

During January, seven trading days joined the list of top 10 highest volume days. The run began on Jan. 6 when 5,647,102 contracts traded, peaking with the highest trading day for equity options volume occurring on Jan. 16 with 8,036,618.

Average daily equity options volume for January was 5,320,813 contracts, up 79.8 percent from 2,959,104 contracts in January 2003.

January month-end equity options open interest was 102,107,779 contracts vs. 74,486,968 contracts during the same time period last year. This represents a 37.08 percent increase. On Jan. 15, equity open reached a new single day high with 137,042,812 contracts vs. the previous record set on Nov. 21, 2003 with 136,615,478 contracts. This new record was quickly erased when at its highest point on Jan. 16, equity open interest stood at 138,999,195 contracts.

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

"Historically January's volume and open interest are high but this year, January's numbers were astounding," said Paul Stevens, President, OIC. "We look forward to another strong year of growth in equity options volume and another year of advancing options education to investors and brokers."

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 Options Industry Services call center at 1-888-OPTIONS, an educational Web site at, evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada, instructional videos and educational literature and software.

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