Trading of U.S. stock options soared to the second-highest level in nearly four decades of history yesterday, boosted by investors using the contracts to capture dividends paid by the biggest exchange-traded funds.
Volume jumped to 30.7 million contracts on stocks, indexes and ETFs, according to Chicago-based Options Clearing Corp., which clears and settles all trades in exchange-listed contracts. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, which tracks the benchmark measure of U.S. stocks, accounted for about a third of that volume. The record of 30.8 million was set on May 6, when U.S. stocks lost $862 billion in value in less than 20 minutes.
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