September 30, 2011

New SPDR ETFs Target Aerospace, Software Sectors

Meanwhile, Northern Trust re-enters the exchange-traded funds business

State Street Global Advisors introduced three new sector exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on Friday: The SPDR S&P Aerospace & Defense ETF (XAR), SPDR S&P Health Care Services ETF (XHS), and SPDR S&P Software & Services ETF (XSW) joined the firm’s ETF sector lineup, which includes 44 SPDRs with $58 billion in assets.

The three new SPDR industry ETFs are linked to S&P Select Industry Indices, which are designed to measure the performance of Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) sub-industries. Constituent stocks are members of the S&P Total Market Index, which includes all common equities listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ US exchanges.

“Having pioneered the first sector ETFs in 1998, State Street Global Advisors continues to work closely with investors and advisors to develop new SPDR ETFs that provide precise exposure to a range of industries and sectors,” said James Ross, senior managing director and global head of SPDR Exchange Traded Funds at State Street Global Advisors, in a statement.

“By offering diversified, cost-efficient access to the aerospace and defense, health-care services, and software and services sub-industries, these three new SPDR ETFs provide investors with an opportunity to gain tactical exposure without taking on the risk of buying an individual stock,” Ross continued.

According to the prospectus, the SPDR sector ETFs will charge annual expenses of 0.35%.

Northern Trusts' FlexShares

In other ETF news, Northern Trust says it is back in the business, after exiting the field in 2009.  The Chicago-based investment firm introduced four ETFs known as FlexShares on Sept. 22.

The FlexShares Morningstar U.S. Market Factor Tilt Index ETF (TILT) follows the broad U.S. stock market by tilting the portfolio toward the long-term growth potential of the smaller-cap and value segments. The FlexShares Morningstar Global Upstream Natural Resources Index ETF (GUNR) is focused on stocks in the natural resources sector.

The company also introduced TIPS ETFs with 3-year durations (TDTT) and 5-year durations (TDTF). The funds are linked to iBoxx indexes and are planning to distribute monthly income payments. The annual expense ratios for both TIPS ETFs are 0.20 percent.

In its original ETF stint, Northern Trust managed 17 funds with roughly $33 million in assets. The funds mostly tracked international and single-country stock benchmarks.

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