Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Nine major financial firms, including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and Fidelity Investments, are launching a new stock exchange — the Members Exchange, aka MEMX.

Details: MEMX expects to file an application with the Securities and Exchange Commission this year with plans to reduce costs and streamline the trading process, though it’ll probably be awhile before it’s up and running. Shares of NYSE's parent Intercontinental Exchange and the Nasdaq fell 2% after news of the newcomer broke.

Be smart: It's notable that MEMX is backed by Citadel Securities and Virtu Financial — the country's biggest stock traders, which each facilitate 20% of U.S. equity volume, per WSJ — in addition to the big financial firms.

  • Despite being run by some big players, a new exchange doesn't guarantee they'll pull liquidity from the NYSE or Nasdaq.
  • Most traders don't pick and choose which exchange to participate in. They use all or many of the exchanges.

What they're saying:

  • Nasdaq's statement to CNBC: "We welcome competition to our transparent, highly regulated equity markets. However, with more than 40 equity trading venues already in operation in the United States, we are keen to learn more about the value proposition of a new exchange."
  • Cboe's statement to WSJ: "Healthy competition ups the game for all of us and we welcome new entrants into the space.”

The bottom line: MEMX hasn't announced how much lower its fees will be, and there's no guarantee the platform will take market share from those that right now control 60% of trading volume.

Go deeper

Coronavirus surge punctures oil's recovery

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The growth of coronavirus cases is "casting a shadow" over oil's recovery despite the partial demand revival and supply cuts that have considerably tightened the market in recent months, the International Energy Agency said Friday.

Why it matters: IEA's monthly report confirms what analysts have seen coming for a long time: Failure to contain the virus is a huge threat to the market rebound that has seen prices grow, but remain at a perilous level for many companies.

1 hour ago - Sports

Big Ten's conference-only move could spur a regionalized college sports season

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Big Ten announced Thursday that it will move all fall sports to a conference-only schedule.

Why it matters: This will have a snowball effect on the rest of the country, and could force all Power 5 conferences to follow suit, resulting in a regionalized fall sports season.

The second jobs apocalypse

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

This week, United Airlines warned 36,000 U.S. employees their jobs were at risk, Walgreens cut more than 4,000 jobs, Wells Fargo announced it was preparing thousands of terminations this year, and Levi's axed 700 jobs due to falling sales.

Why it matters: We have entered round two of the jobs apocalypse. Those announcements followed similar ones from the Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and Choice hotels, which all have announced thousands of job cuts, and the bankruptcies of more major U.S. companies like 24 Hour Fitness, Brooks Brothers and Chuck E. Cheese in recent days.