I wrote this on Jan 20th and it is more true than ever: Now there is a new index coming out of the exchanges the EXQ more on this tomorrow.

People are trading more, plain and simple. Look at the earning of all the big players in the brokerage industry and they are all pointing to big increases in stock and options trading. Here are the companies you need to be in and why. The sector has already moved quite a bit but the quarter numbers have been great from the whole sector.

International Securities Exchange (ISE) This is the largest options trading exchange and options trading is growing at a remarkable rate. Two days ago they set a daily record for volume. “the options market has grown at a 17% compound annual growth rate, a lot faster than the equity market” taken from the mouth of Jim Cramer

OptionsXpress (OXPS) See above quote about options and combine it with a broker the specializes in options and we have a great investment.

TradeStation (TRAD) A great platform for trading. Used to be only daytraders and big volume players used Tradestation. This has changed. Daily trades up 32% year to date. In a great position to add to these numbers.

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Average daily commissions up 79% year to date. IntercontinentalExchange operates the electronic global futures and OTC marketplace for trading energy commodity contracts, including crude oil and refined products, natural gas, power and emissions. These are the hot items right now and rather than trade oil, I’ll buy the exchange their traded on.

Investment Technology Group (ITG) This company is being overlooked. They provide trading programs for institutions, plain and simply. Most companies are moving to this and they are one of the best.