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QQQ The Newest Star At CBOE: New iShares Record Set In March

Date 05/04/2001

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw its newest product take off in March, as volume levels for options on the Nasdaq-100 Index Tracking StockSM, QQQ, surpassed all expectations. In its first full month of trading following a February 27 launch, QQQ volume was 2,211,781 contracts (1,504,011 calls and 707,770 puts), making it the second most actively traded index option at CBOE, trailing only the venerable S&P 500® Index options (SPXTM). CBOE also set a new record for one-day volume in its iSharesSM S&P 100® Index Fund (OEF), which traded 174,600 shares on March 22. Launched in October 2000, OEF is an exchange-traded fund that trades exclusively at CBOE.

In March, CBOE exchange-wide average daily volume was 1,370,705 contracts, the nineteenth consecutive month that average daily volume has exceeded a million contracts per day at CBOE.

Total volume at CBOE in March decreased from last March's all-time monthly volume record, as 30,155,514 option contracts (17,100,192 calls and 13,055,322 puts) traded, compared to 35,176,764 in March 2000. Open interest in all CBOE listed options stood at 50,015,192 contracts at month's end, a 17% increase over the end of March last year, when open interest stood at 42,656,203 contracts.

Stock option volume for the month of March totaled 22,288,473 contracts (13,496,407 calls and 8,792,066 puts), a decrease of 26% from March 2000's record stock option volume of 29,965,287 contracts. Open interest in stock options stood at 45,458,133 contracts (29,717,854 calls and 15,740,279 puts) at the end of March, a 17% increase over the close of March 2000, when open interest stood at 38,760,576 contracts.

Volume in equity LEAPS® (Long-Term Equity AnticiPation Securities®) increased significantly in March, as investors turned to longer-term options in response to market volatility. Total volume in equity LEAPS totaled 2,375,722 contracts, an 18% increase over March 2000 volume of 2,020,898 contracts.

Total index option volume for March at CBOE rose to 7,858,276 contracts (3,600,803 calls and 4,257,473 puts) compared to 5,204,051 contracts in March 2000, an increase of 51%. Trading in S&P 500® Index options (SPX) totaled 2,529,014 contracts (1,040,958 calls and 1,488,056 puts), an increase of 8% over March 2000 volume of 2,343,905. Trading in SPX LEAPS totaled 125,160 contracts in March, a 41% increase over March 2000 volume of 88,959 contracts. Trading volume for the month of March in S&P 100® Index options (OEX®) was 1,136,905 contracts (520,684 calls and 616,221 puts).

Trading volume in CBOE's popular index product, the MNXSM, based on one-tenth of the Nasdaq-100 Index®, continued to post impressive figures with 505,667 contracts (248,394 calls and 257,273 puts) traded in March. Average daily volume stood at 22,985 contracts. Open interest in MNX stood at 509,418 contracts at the end of March. Volume in Nasdaq-100 Index® (NDXSM) options totaled 171,059 contracts for the month, a 19% decrease from the March 2000 volume of 212,564 contracts. Open interest in NDX stood at 91,094 contracts.

CBOE, the world's largest options marketplace and the creator of listed options, is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). For additional information about the CBOE and its products, access the CBOE site on the World Wide Web at