E-Trade Cuts Commission As Discount Broker Price War Expands

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of E-Trade Financial Corp. fell 2.2% in premarket trade Thursday, after the discount broker announced trade commission price cuts, in the wake of price cuts made by rivals earlier this week. E-Trade said trade commissions will fall to $6.95 from $9.99 for all customers. The broker said it will introduce a lower pricing tier for its most active customers, that make more than 30 trades per quarter, of $4.95. Options charges will be 50 cents per contract. On Tuesday, Charles Schwab Corp. cut commissions for standard online equity and exchange-traded fund trades to $4.95, matching cuts made by Fidelity less than 24 hours earlier. E-Trade's stock has gained 3.6% over the past three months, while Schwab shares have climbed 11% and the S&P 500 has rallied 9.3%.

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