Options Trading Starts on TARP Index

Whether you think the burgeoning government bailout packages are necessary, a necessary evil – or just plain evil – you now have a way to capitalize on those sentiments.
On Friday, Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc. announced plans to launch options trading on its three-week old Government Relief Index, which tracks the performance of companies bailed out by U.S. taxpayers. According to Reuters, options will begin trading today on NASDAQ OMX PHLX, the options platform Nasdaq acquired in its takeover of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange last year.
The Government Relief Index, unveiled on January 8, includes 24 companies that received at least $1 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, and other government aid plans. The index began calculation with a value of 1000.00 on January 5, 2009 – it closed Friday with a value of 655.88.
“This index allows taxpayers and other investors to measure the performance of U.S. companies that are participating in the government’s financial relief plan,” said NASDAQ OMX Executive Vice President John Jacobs. “We believe the NASDAQ OMX Government Relief Index will be useful in helping investors evaluate the government’s investments and the impact of the relief plan on the economy during this period of historical significance.”
The new index, calculated in real time across the combined exchanges and disseminated in dollars, is accessible via NASDAQ with the ticker QGRI. A list of the companies included in the index is available at http://finance.yahoo.com/q/cp?s=%5EQGRI