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Effective Friday, October 15, 2010, iShares S&P North American Technology-Semiconductors Index Fund (IGW) changed its name and ticker symbol to iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (NASDAQ:SOXX). The CUSIP did not change, but the PHLX (Philadelphia Stock Exchange) is owned by Nasdaq so the listing changed from the NYSE to Nasdaq.

The underlying index also changed to the PHLX Semiconductor Sector Index, which has been the benchmark semiconductor index since its introduction in 1993. It remains a mystery as to why it took so long for an unleveraged ETF tracking the SOX index to become available. The ETF statistics will treat this as an ETF change – not a closure and launch.

SOXX overview indicates 31 current holdings with the largest being Broadcom Corp Class A (NASDAQ:BRCM) 8.7%, Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) 8.6%, Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) 8.0%, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) 7.5%, and Marvell Technology Group (NASDAQ:MRVL) 6.3%. The expense ratio remains at 0.48%.

The current version of the SOXX fact sheet (pdf) still contains many references to the previous underlying index as it was the official index at the end of the quarter. Check back in January 2011 for updated information.

The currently quantity of semiconductor ETFs is eight:

  1. iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) (SOXX overview) tracks the PHLX SOX Semiconductor Index of 31 stocks with an expense ratio of 0.48%
  2. HOLDRS Semiconductor (NYSEARCA:SMH) (SMH overview) is based on static holdings of 18 stocks with an approximate expense ratio of 0.28%
  3. SPDR S&P Semiconductor (NYSEARCA:XSD) (XSD overview) tracks the S&P Semiconductor Index of 26 stocks with an expense ratio of 0.35%
  4. PowerShares Dynamic Semiconductor (NYSEARCA:PSI) (PSI overview) tracks the Dynamic Semiconductors Intellidex Index of 30 stocks with an expense ratio of 0.60%
  5. ProShares Ultra Semiconductors (NYSEARCA:USD) (USD overview) tracks 200% the daily performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Semiconductor Index of 51 stocks with an expense ratio of 0.95%
  6. ProShares UltraShort Semiconductors (NYSEARCA:SSG) (SSG overview) tracks 200% the daily inverse performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Semiconductor Index of 51 stocks with an expense ratio of 0.95%
  7. Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bull 3x (NYSEARCA:SOXL) (SOXL overview) tracks 300% the daily performance of the PHLX SOX Semiconductor Index of 31 stocks with an expense ratio of 0.95%
  8. Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bear 3x (NYSEARCA:SOXS) (SOXS overview) tracks 300% the daily inverse performance of the PHLX SOX Semiconductor Index of 31 stocks with an expense ratio of 0.95%

Disclosure covering writer, editor, and publisher: No positions in any of the securities mentioned. No positions in any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned. No income, revenue, or other compensation (either directly or indirectly) received from, or on behalf of, any of the companies or ETF sponsors mentioned.

Source: iShares Semiconductor ETF Switches Ticker, Underlying Index