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State Street just slashed costs for 'Spider' ETFs

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

State Street's ubiquitous "spider" funds are getting even cheaper.

In an industry that already uses low fees as a pivotal sales pitch point, State Street announced Tuesday it is slashing expense ratios across 41 of its SPDR funds that track a variety of market indexes.

The gross expense ratio of some of those funds is being cut by half or more. Four bond funds now will have ratios of 0.10. The ratio shows the amount of fees that are deducted each year for expenses.

ETFs boast fees that are much lower than their mutual fund counterparts. The typical ETF has an expense ratio of about 0.43 percent, compared with the average mutual fund expense ratio of 1.4 percent, according to ETF Database.

"Affordable ratios are key components of our commitment to providing cost-effective investment solutions that are backed by SSGA's expertise, services and support," James Ross, executive vice president and global head of SPDR Exchange Traded Funds at State Street Global Advisors, said in a statement.

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The new expense structure will apply across a variety of ETFs, from fixed income to volatility products to a number of internationally focused funds.

The list does not include the SPDR S&P 500, State Street's fund that tracks the stock index by the same name and the largest ETF with $181.7 billion in assets.

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State Street is the third-largest provider in a $2 trillion industry dominated by three players. It has nearly $419.8 billion in ETF assets under management, trailing BlackRock ($759.5 billion) and Vanguard ($433.8 billion), according to ETF.com.