SECURITIES: Playing Options

One day early last week, not quite 15 million shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange—a fair day. The Chicago Board Options Exchange also had a middling volume, equivalent to 5.1 million shares, or one-third of the Big Board total.

In dollars, the Stock Exchange's tally was greater than that of the C.B.O.E.—but the latter's performance was still remarkable. The N.Y.S.E. lists more than 1,500 companies; the C.B.O.E. trades options in only 79—and while the Big Board is 183 years old, the Options Exchange will not celebrate its third birthday until next April. Its growth has been so stupendous...

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