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OIC Announces January Month-End Volume Climbs To A Three Month High Month-end equity open interest increased 12.2 percent

Chicago—February 5, 2003

The Options Industry Council (OIC) announced today that January equity options volume of 62,141,181 contracts (25,485,877 puts and 36,655,304 calls), increased by 27.4 percent over December's 48,743,329 contracts (20,478,728 puts and 28,264,601 calls) and 6 percent over November's 58,622,690 contracts (22,947,217 puts and 35,675,473 calls). One year ago, January equity options volume was 67,389,145 contracts (26,679,280 puts and 40,709,865 calls).

January month-end equity open interest was 74,486,968 contracts vs. 66,379,169 contracts during the same time period last year. This represents a 12.2 percent increase. At its highest point on Jan. 17, equity open interest stood at 104,864,847 contracts.

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

"As equity open interest continues its strong and increasing numbers, it suggests investors are utilizing options as a long-term investment product," said Paul Stevens, President, OIC. "We encourage investors during these uncertain market conditions to take time and advance their options education with OIC's broad array of educational tools such as our new Options University, free seminars and call center options experts."

Average daily equity options volume for January was down 7.7 percent to 2,959,104 contracts, from 3,209,007 contracts in January 2002. The highest trading day for equity options volume occurred on Jan. 17 when 4,459,847 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 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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