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) --

E*Trade Financial


experienced improved retail trading metrics last month, following the pattern seen at its two largest online broker rivals,

Charles Schwab



TD Ameritrade



E*Trade said that daily average revenue trades, or DARTs, in the month of October rose 14% sequentially to 145,311. However, E*Trade's DARTs fell 18% versus the year earlier period.

TD Ameritrade's Trading Volume Rises

Schwab Monthly Trading Picks Up

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The online broker said net new brokerage assets totaled $900 million last month - a solid improvement from September's inflow of $500 million and $600 million in the year-earlier period. Year to date, new brokerage assets totaled $6.6 billion, E*Trade said.

The trading rebound reverses the reluctance on the part of retail investors to jump into the markets, this year, particularly after the May flash crash, which sent the Dow crashing more than 1,000 points in one day.

Brokers Want Money on the Sidelines

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Retail trading

is also likely outpacing institutional volumes, at least one analyst says.

Still the trading metrics are far below the strong numbers posted last year, in which the difficult markets led to high volatility.

E*Trade shares were rising 0.9% to $14.89 shortly before the markets opened. TD Ameritrade shares were slightly falling, while Schwab shares were flat.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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Laurie Kulikowski


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