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Three New iShares for Tech Junkies

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Barclays Global Investors (BGI) will launch three iShares ETFs tied to the following Goldman Sachs technology indexes: Networking, Semiconductors, and Software. They will begin trading on the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) starting July 13.

``With the new iShares Goldman Sachs technology sector funds, investors can get precise technology exposure in a cost-effective manner through a single brokerage transaction," said Lee Kranefuss, CEO of BGI's Individual Investor Business.

The announcement demonstrates that BGI will continue to dice up the market into finer pieces with its ETF brand, despite the fact that most existing iShares were launched into the teeth of a bear market. For example, an E*Trade index fund hitched to the Goldman Sachs Technology Index was down 51.55% for the year as of the end of June, as mentioned in a recent article.

"Many of the BGI funds are small and probably unprofitable on a stand-alone
basis," says Gavin Quill, an analyst for Financial Research Corporation who covers ETFs. "Of course, Barclays is trying to take a major piece of the future growth of the industry by investment spending now. Most of their funds came out as the bear market was accelerating. I think analysts should give them time before judging their success."

The San Francisco-based firm currently manages 40 domestic iShares, with just under $9.5 billion in assets under management as of the end of June.

Big Board to Trade 3 Popular ETFs

As noted in an earlier story, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) will begin trading the three most actively-traded exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on July 31: S&P Despositary Receipts (SPY), Dow Jones Industrials (DIA), and the Nasdaq-100 Tracking Stock (QQQ). Many investors know these funds by their
nicknames - "Spiders," "Diamonds," and "Cubes," respectively.

As pursuant with the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Big Board will trade the ETFs on the basis of unlisted trading privileges (UTP). In a statement, NYSE said it will not charge transaction fees to any constituent in the UTP ETFs during the first three months of trading, and specialists firms will also waive commissions during for that time period. At the end of three months, NYSE said customer agency trades are expected to remain free of transaction charges. Member-firm proprietary trades and specialists are expected to be subject to competitive fees, according to NYSE.

The table below lists the five most-traded ETFs and HOLDRs on AMEX for the holiday-shortened week ending July 6, 2001.

Trading Symbol
Cumulative AMEX 4 Day Volume
4 Day Average Daily AMEX Volume
NASDAQ-100 Index Tracking Stock
S&P 500 SPDR
Semiconductor HOLDRS
Biotech HOLDRS

Source: AMEX

Socially Responsible

Index provider FTSE released the constituents for four of its new socially responsible indexes, the "FTSE4Good" family.

The four tradable FTSE4Good indices are: FTSE4Good Global
100, FTSE4Good US 100, FTSE4Good UK 50, and FTSE4Good Europe 50.

"When making investment decisions, a growing number of individual investors
and institutional money managers are taking into account whether or not
companies are behaving in a socially responsible fashion," said Will Oulton, chairman FTSE Americas. "These new indices provide the tools people need to make those decisions quickly and objectively across the full range of industries."

The consituents and methodology for the new indexes are available at the FTSE website.

To learn more about exchange-traded funds, get yourself over to our ETFzone.