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Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

After seeing its stock price plunge 26% in Tuesday trading, brokerage firm TD Ameritrade announced it would offer free stock, ETF and options trades, starting Thursday.

Threat level: Investors are worried that the race to the bottom, now clearly in full swing, will blow a hole in the profitability of online brokerage companies. Shares of the companies already were struggling this year.

  • Charles Schwab — the largest of the publicly traded brokers with 12 million customers — made the same offer to clients earlier in the day, sparking a massive selloff among the top brokerage firms.
  • Interactive Brokers cut fees to zero on stocks and ETFs last week.

By the numbers:

  • Schwab's stock fell 9% on the day.
  • E-Trade's stock dropped 16%.
  • Interactive Brokers' stock lost 9%.

Of note: TD Ameritrade makes a particularly large (25%) share of its revenue from commission fees, according to analysts at investment bank JMP Securities.

Go deeper

Updated 9 mins ago - World

Protests in Belarus turn deadly following sham election

Belarus law enforcement officers guard a street during a protest on Monday night. Police in Minsk have fired rubber bullets for a second night against protesters. Photo: Natalia Fedosenko/TASS via Getty Image

Protesters and security forces have been clashing across Belarus overnight in a second night of protests that has left at least one person dead, hundreds injured and thousands arrested.

Why it matters: Sunday’s rigged presidential elections have yielded political uncertainty unlike any seen in Aleksander Lukashenko’s 26-year tenure. After claiming an implausible 80% of the vote, Lukashenko is using every tool in the authoritarian arsenal to maintain his grip on power.

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 20,014,574 — Total deaths: 734,755 — Total recoveries — 12,222,744Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 5,089,416 — Total deaths: 163,425 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. Politics: Trump claims he would have not called for Obama to resign over 160,000 virus deathsHouse will not hold votes until Sept. 14 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Business: Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out.
  5. Public health: 5 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — A dual coronavirus and flu threat is set to deliver a winter from hell.
  6. Sports: The cost of kids losing gym class — College football is on the brink.
  7. World: Europe's CDC recommends new restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases."
Updated 2 hours ago - World

Trump admin: Jimmy Lai's arrest marks Beijing's "latest violation" on Hong Kong

Media tycoon Jimmy Lai at the Next Digital offices in Hong Kong in June. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said in a statement Monday night the Trump administration is "deeply troubled" by the arrest of Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai on suspicion of "collusion with foreign powers."

Why it matters: The arrest Monday of the most prominent person under the new national security law that gives Beijing more powers over the former British colony comes amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and China.