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Given Friday's nasty action, a long holiday weekend is just what traders need to soothe their frazzled nerves. In the quiet time between quarterly earnings seasons, the focus on interest rates and the mutterings of



Alan Greenspan


With Greenspan contributing to the nervousness and many professionals openly confused by what's happening, we'll continue to offer blanket coverage of the stock and bond market. As ever, we'll provide constantly updated market reports, a frequently refreshed Briefing Room and sharp analytical stories so that you can better understand exactly what's happening.

While we track the minute-to-minute market turns, we're also working on longer-term features that will help inform your investing decisions. Later this week, we'll launch our

Online Broker Survey 2000

. More than 1.8 million new accounts were added online last quarter, and assets held online at brokerages have hit $900 billion.

The field is crowded. More than 150 online brokers are now battling it out for investor business, including the big muscle. The


and the


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are slugging against the upstarts that began the online trading revolution. And the competition has become distinctly Darwinian. We've all seen the come-ons, the overproduced ads, I mean,

Geena Davis

? With your help, we want to cut through the hype in order to take a closer look at the realities of online brokerages.

This week, we'll ask you to tell us which brokers cut it and which don't, what's important to you when you trade and what the hassles are. We'll do the math and report back our collective wisdom. Together, we can find the best brokers for your individual trading style, and we can red flag the losers.

Take a moment to cast your vote. We'll all reap the benefits.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me at or our customer service staff at We'll ensure your issues get handled. Meantime, get ready for another exciting week of investing. These are definitely interesting times.

L'Etoile du Nord

Dave Kansas


Dave Kansas is editor-in-chief of In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, though he owns stock in He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He welcomes your feedback at