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Also called a Standard & Poor's Depositary Receipt or a SPDR. An exchange-traded fund that tracks the Standard and Poor's 500. The organization issuing the SPDR owns each of the stocks traded on the S&P 500 in approximate ratio to their market capitalization. SPDR shares can be bought, sold, short-sold, traded on margin; they generally function as if they were stocks. Dividends are paid quarterly and are based on the accumulated dividends of all the stocks represented in the SPDR, less any expenses. Investors use SPDRs (and indeed all exchange-traded funds) as a way to easily diversify their portfolios at relatively low cost. Investors also see the demand for SPDRs as an indicator of which direction the market believes the S&P 500 is going. See also: Mid-Cap SPDR.