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E*Trade Launches Bond Fund

Continuing to seek more diverse sources of revenue, online brokerage E*Trade Group Inc. launched its first actively managed mutual fund, leveraging its fixed-income expertise with the new E*Trade Bond Fund.

The new bond fund is an intermediate-term, investment-grade bond fund seeking total return with an emphasis on income, the company said.

E*Trade Asset Management, a subsidiary of E*Trade Group, has discretion over the maturity, sector and credit quality of the securities in the Bond Fund portfolio.

"The E*Trade Bond Fund gives customers a fixed-income alternative...," said Mitchell Caplan, chief financial products officer and an E*Trade managing director for North America. "Our customers have asked us to provide additional opportunities to diversify their investment portfolios."

The company's other funds are all money market or index funds, including the S&P 500 Index Fund, Premier Money Market Fund, Russell 2000 Index Fund, Bond Fund, International Index Fund, Technology Index Fund, Financial Sector Index Fund and E-Commerce Index Fund.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based online brokerage has been seeking to create new revenue streams since the Internet recession began. Last month it reported that its new mortgage unit had passed the $4 billion in mortgage origination milestone.

The company is also opening bricks-and-mortar financial stores around the country. The first store was opened last April in Manhattan.

E*Trade stock was up 58 cents in mid-morning trading to $8.78.