Feb 24, 2020 - Economy

Mom and pop investors splurge on stocks

The New York Stock Exchange

The New York Stock Exchange on Jan. 21. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Trading volume at online and discount brokers like TD Ameritrade and the recently acquired E*Trade has exploded over the past year, Bloomberg reports, with TD Ameritrade alone having seen million-trade days multiplying at a "record pace."

What's happening: So-called mom and pop retail investors are chasing the U.S. bull market via online brokerages, thanks largely to top brokerage firms cutting trading fees to zero.

Driving the news: "[D]aily average revenue trades ... have almost doubled to an all-time high since last September, data compiled by Sundial Research showed," per Bloomberg.

  • "The latest leg of [retail trader] emergence times closely with October, when E*Trade, Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade slashed commission fees to zero."

Details: At TD Ameritrade, there were 38 days when the number of trades topped 1 million during the fiscal first quarter that ended Dec. 31, Steve Boyle, TD's interim president and CEO, told Bloomberg. That compares to 23 such days in all of fiscal year 2019.

  • E*Trade's daily average revenue trades have increased 74%.
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