E*TRADE Group of Menlo Park, Calif. has signed an agreement with Standard & Poor's of New York to offer online investors 21 predesigned "baskets" of stocks, to be called E*TRADE Stock Baskets.

The baskets S&P will assemble will include five index-based baskets, ten sector-specific baskets and six investment-style baskets. Investors will also be allowed to assemble their own baskets of stocks instead of investing in those designed by S&P, the companies said. E*Trade will offer these stock baskets to its online brokerage customers.

The fees associated with the buying and trading of the baskets were not disclosed. No launch date was mentioned.

Last September, E*TRADE announced plans to buy PrivateAccounts.com, a Minneapolis company that offered online baskets of stocks. The site has since become E*TRADE's personal money management site for wrap-fee customers who must have a minimum of $100,000 to invest.

E*TRADE joins a handful of other firms that have created or are in the process of creating pools of stocks for individual investors. These include Foliofn of Vienna. Va. which introduced its online equity baskets in May 2000.

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