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News Roundup: Amex and Bank of New York

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Amex Launches Options

Investors who use options to hedge portfolio risk got some welcome new tools for the chest. This week the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) began trading options on six iShares managed by Barclays Global Investors tied to the following indexes:

  • Dow Jones U.S. Telecommunications (IYZ)
  • Dow Jones U.S. Financial (IYF)
  • Dow Jones U.S. Technology (IYW)
  • Russell 1000 Growth (IWF)
  • Russell 1000 Value (IWD)
  • Russell 3000 (IWV)

Bank of NY ADR Index Moves to Free Float

Starting Christmas Eve day, the Bank of New York ADR (American Depositary Receipt) Index will convert to free-float weighting from market capitalization weighting. Additionally, Greece will move from an emerging to a developed market index. In free float methodology, a constituent's weighting is determined by the actual number of shares available, which excludes closely held stock and shares held by governments, for example. Market capitalization weighting takes into account all of a company's shares. Index provider Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) is in the midst of converting its international equity indexes to free float weighting, a significant and yearlong undertaking.

Wine, Cheese and ETFs, Anyone?

In a continuing effort to solidify its trading hegemony in ETFs, the AMEX has announced a symposium on ETFs to be held in New York on January 14, 2001. Topics of discussion will include ETF premiums and discounts, retail investor perception, and global expansion. The festivities will include a keynote address by Forbes editor-in-chief, Steve Forbes.