Get Ready for ETF Changes: QQQQ Becomes QQQ Again

by: Ron Rowland

PowerShares is changing the ticker symbols for 10 of its ETFs starting with tomorrow’s (3/23/2011) opening of trading. Included in the changes are the PowerShares QQQQ Trust along with the nine small cap sector ETFs that were the subject of a lawsuit filed by the Select Sector SPDR Trust.

I never understood why PowerShares changed the ticker symbol on the Nasdaq 100 ETF from QQQ to QQQQ while simultaneously making QQQ part of its name back in 2004. Perhaps it had something to do with it becoming a Nasdaq listing when the Nasdaq wasn’t allowed to have three letter ticker symbols. Anyway, apparently enough time has passed (or the letter count restrictions were relaxed enough) to allow it to revert to the former ticker – the one with just three letters that matches its name.

As we reported earlier, PowerShares and SPDR Trust settled their lawsuit with PowerShares agreeing to change the tickers on their small cap sector suite. The SPDR Trust alleged that PowerShares infringed on its trademark by using ticker symbols containing the letter “XL." The PowerShares small cap sector ETFs originally used ticker symbols that added an “S” to the end of the symbols used by the Select Sector SPDR Suite.

The 10 affected funds that will have new ticker symbols on Wednesday (3/23/2011) are:

Name Old Ticker New Ticker
PowerShares QQQ Trust QQQQ QQQ
PowerShares S&P SmallCap Materials XLBS PSCM
PowerShares S&P SmallCap Energy XLES PSCE
PowerShares S&P SmallCap Financials XLFS PSCF
PowerShares S&P SmallCap Industrials XLIS PSCI
PowerShares S&P SmallCap Information Technology XLKS PSCT
PowerShares S&P SmallCap Consumer Staples XLPS PSCC
PowerShares S&P SmallCap Utilities XLUS PSCU
PowerShares S&P SmallCap Health Care XLVS PSCH
PowerShares S&P SmallCap Consumer Discretionary XLYS PSCD

Disclosure covering writer, editor and publisher: Long QQQQ/QQQ. 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.