A securities exchange that primarily or exclusively trades option contracts. Often, options are traded on an exchange along with futures and other derivatives. However, some exchanges, like the CBOE, specialize in option transactions.
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An organized securities exchange, the primary purpose of which is to provide a location and framework for trading standardized option contracts. An option exchange handles its trading much as a stock exchange handles its trading in stocks and bonds. Until 1973, with the opening of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, all options were traded through a limited number of firms specializing in them. Most of the options traded at that time were so unique that it was difficult or impossible to close a position in one before its expiration.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.