The American Stock Exchange and Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc., both in New York, separately are offering derivatives on equity indexes of companies expected to benefit from the "year 2000" problem.
That problem, which is expected to result from computers designed to treat years ending with "00" as 1900, has led analysts to identify companies that can profit by helping businesses fix it.
The Amex index, called the de Jager Year 2000 Index, is price weighted, contains 18 stocks and began trading in March. The de Jager index was created by Peter de Jager, a 2000 consultant.
More information on the problem can be found on the World Wide Web at www.year2000.com or www.amex.com.
Initial interest has come at the retail level, although specialists will accommodate institutional-sized trades, said Cliff Weber, vice president of new product development for the Amex.
The Morgan Stanley Year 2000 Index is an equal dollar-weighted index of companies chosen by Morgan technology analysts. The index is being used for over-the-counter transactions.
Morgan analysts believe well-positioned companies stand to benefit significantly, according to a Morgan research report. The catalyst could be a high-profile charge to earnings, or earnings shortfall related to the problem.