Charles Schwab & Co.'s asset management unit is launching a mutual fund that tracks a broad spectrum of U.S. stocks.
The Schwab Total Stock Market Index Fund would use a quantitative and analytical approach to track roughly 2,500 of the stocks contained in the Wilshire 5,000 index, which includes nearly every publicly traded U.S. stock.
The portfolio began taking subscriptions last week and is set to open June 1, said William J. Klipp, president and chief operating officer of Charles Schwab Investment Management.
"We like the notion of indexing," Mr. Klipp said. However, he added, "people are becoming more nervous about the run-up in the Standard & Poor's 500 index."
Because of their broad sampling of the market, funds that track the large-cap S&P 500 have proven popular with investors in the ongoing bull market. The S&P 500 rose 28.7% during 1998.
Though the S&P 500 has outperformed the Wilshire 5,000 recently, Mr. Klipp said, there is a benefit in having exposure to both small- and large- cap stocks.
San Francisco-based Schwab manages 49 funds, representing $92 billion of assets.