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Since its introduction in May 2000, the International Securities Exchange (ISE) has been on the cutting edge of technology. In a matter of only a few years, the ISE has become the world's largest equity options exchange. In spite being the new kid on the block, ISE was able to capture market share through the introduction of electronic trading, lower fees, and more efficient and equitable pricing that has led to deeper and more liquid markets. The exchange now makes markets on options for approximately 900 equities.

Beyond the technology innovations that has helped grow average daily volume from one million to 2.5 million contracts, the ISE has also been a pioneer on the index front. ISE has 25 indexes that trade on their exchange, with 15 of these indices being exclusive to the ISE. Below is a table of the 15 indexes that ISE exclusively trades. In this commentary, we provide a thumbnail summary on each of these indexes. We will be spotlighting some of these indices this week, as we drill down on ISE indexes each day.

Table of ISE Indices

  • The ISE 100 (IXX: View sentiment for IXXsentiment, chart, options) is a higher-volatility indicator that tracks the performance of the top-100 most actively traded equity option classes listed on the ISE.

  • The ISE 250 (IXZ: View sentiment for IXZsentiment, chart, options) tracks the top 250 U.S. stocks trading on the NYSE, AMEX, and NASDAQ. The companies represented have an adjusted market capitalization of approximately $9 trillion.

  • The ISE 50 (IXK: View sentiment for IXKsentiment, chart, options) tracks the performance of the "Mega Cap" stocks listed in the United States. The Index is a subset of the ISE 250, generally including the top 50 stocks.

  • The ISE Bio-Pharmaceuticals Index (RND: View sentiment for RNDsentiment, chart, options) includes companies primarily engaged in researching, developing, manufacturing, producing, or marketing pharmaceuticals or other products based on biotechnology research. This index's top holdings includes stocks such as Novartis (NVS), Pfizer (PFE), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

  • The ISE Gold Index (HVY: View sentiment for HVYsentiment, chart, options) includes companies that own or operate gold mines, or are involved in the production of gold and related products. This index's top holdings include Barrick Gold (ABX), Newmont Mining (NEM), Goldcorp (GG), and Glamis Gold (GLG).

  • The ISE Homebuilders Index (RUF: View sentiment for RUFsentiment, chart, options) includes residential construction companies and prefabricated house manufacturers. This index's top holdings include D.R. Horton (DHI), Lennar (LEN), Pulte Homes (PHM), Centex (CTX), and KB Home (KBH).

  • The ISE Integrated Oil & Gas Index (PMP: View sentiment for PMPsentiment, chart, options) includes companies engaged in the exploration, production, refining, marketing and transportation of oil and gas. This index's top holdings include Exxon Mobil (XOM), BP PLC (BP), Total (TOT), ConocoPhillips (COP), and Chevron (CHV).

  • The ISE Semiconductors Index (BYT: View sentiment for BYTsentiment, chart, options) includes manufacturers of semiconductors and related equipment. This index's top holdings include Intel (INTC), Texas Instruments (TXN), Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM), Applied Materials (AMAT), and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

  • The ISE SINdex (SIN: View sentiment for SINsentiment, chart, options) includes owners and operators of casinos and gaming facilities, producers of beer and malt liquors, distillers, vintners and producers of other alcoholic beverages, and manufacturers of cigarettes and other tobacco products. This index's top holdings include UST (UST), Kirwin Brewery (KNBWY), Anheuser-Busch (BUD), and International Game Technology (IGT).

  • The ISE U.S. Regional Banks Index (JLO: View sentiment for JLOsentiment, chart, options) includes companies active in small and medium corporate lending and retail banking. Regional banks operate in limited regions within the U.S. Companies primarily engaged in investment banking, brokerage, and asset management are not included in the index. Thrifts and mortgage banks are also not included. This index's top holdings including SunTrust Banks (STI), BB&T Corporation (BBT), Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB), National City (NCC), and PNC Bank (PNC).

  • The ISE-B&S Water Index (HHO: View sentiment for HHOsentiment, chart, options) includes companies engaged in water distribution, water filtration, flow technology, and other water solutions. This index's top holdings include PW Eagle (PWEI), Consolidated Water (CWCO), SABESP (SBS), American States Water (AWR), and United Utilities (UU).

  • The ISE Alternative Energy Index (POW: View sentiment for POWsentiment, chart, options) includes companies engaged in the development of technology relating to alternative energy sources such as: geothermal heat, hydrogen/fuel cell, hydropower, nuclear fusion, solar energy, and wind energy. This index's top holdings include FPL Group (FPL), Energy Conversion Devices (ENER), Edison International (EIX), IDACORP (IDA), and Medis Technologies (MDTL).

  • The ISE-CCM Homeland Security Index (HSX: View sentiment for HSXsentiment, chart, options) includes companies engaged in contractual work with the Department of Homeland Security or law enforcement agencies, or the provision of products or services for the following efforts: intelligence and warning; border and transportation security; domestic counterterrorism; protection of critical infrastructure; defense against catastrophic threats; and, emergency preparedness and response. This index's top holdings include L-3 Communications (LLL), Thermo Electron (TMO), Harris (HRS), Check Point Software (CHKP), and McAfee (MFE).

  • The ISE-CCM Nanotechnology Index (TNY: View sentiment for TNYsentiment, chart, options) is comprised of companies involved in the science and technology of building electronic circuits and devices from single atoms and molecules. Applications involve the intended ability to manipulate materials to fundamentally improve processes, materials, and devices on an 'atomic' scale. This index's top holdings include FEI Company (FEIC), Veeco Instruments (VECO), Universal Display (PANL), Accelrys (ACCL), and Arrowhead Research (ARWR).

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