optionsXpress® Introduces Penny Pricing for Options Spreads

Chicago - 23 October 2006

optionsXpress Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: OXPS) today introduced penny-increment pricing capabilities on certain options spreads through its optionsXpress and brokersXpress subsidiaries. The move by optionsXpress comes in advance of an industry-wide SEC penny quoting trial expected to begin in January 2007, and is made possible through a new penny pricing system just introduced by the International Securities Exchange.

Options spreads, common strategies that help investors manage risk and reward, involve buying and/or selling a combination of two or more different options at once.

David Kalt, CEO of optionsXpress Holdings, believes that as price quotes get tighter for spreads, all market participants will have the potential to benefit from new trading opportunities and increased liquidity, including individual investors.

“We believe that all of the efforts to move to penny pricing of options will benefit optionsXpress customers, optionsXpress and the market as a whole,” said Kalt. “Tighter prices should bring more opportunity for more investors and more liquidity, as trades will require smaller market movements to be successful.”

optionsXpress will integrate the new penny pricing capability within its popular Xspreadssm toolkit, which improves on the traditional spread trading process with intuitive trade tickets, easy to use options chains and pre-trade price improvement opportunities. Xspreads was originally introduced in October of 2002 to provide increased transparency and liquidity for options spread trades.

“Just as our existing Xspreads price improvement capabilities can potentially mean hundreds of dollars to a customer on a single trade, penny pricing also has the potential to help investors more efficiently manage risk and reward,” added Kalt.

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