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Equity Options Trading Hot In July Month Highlighted by Record-Setting Day

ChicagoAugust 6, 1999

The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that 33,862,599 equity options contracts changed hands in July, eclipsing the July 1998 volume of 30,209,770 contracts by 12%.

The month was highlighted by an all-time, one-day record for equity volume on July 16 with 2,843,283 contracts traded. That was the third one-day record set this year. Average daily equity volume in July was 1,612,505 contracts, a 17% increase over the same period last year.

Equity open interest, or the total number of options contracts not yet exercised or allowed to expire, also reached its July peak on the 16th at 44,196,740. Open interest is one indication of longer-term investing in equity options.

"The options industry is having a remarkable year with cleared contract volume continuing to break records," said Paul Stevens, OIC's President. "This momentum reflects the growing number of investors using options as an integral piece of their portfolio."

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).

Pacific Exchange, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and The Options Clearing Corporation, has an extensive educational program. The program, aimed at current and potential investors and their brokers, includes a web site at, two instructional videos: "How To Optimize Your Stock Portfolio With Options" and "Investing with LEAPS" available at 800/952-8665, and free evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada.

Interactive educational software, "The Options Toolbox," is now available for free to seminar attendees and can be downloaded from OIC's web site. A print and broadcast advertising campaign has resulted in more than 250,000 inquiries seeking literature and videotapes.

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