Investment banker Goldman Sachs
Shares of E*TRADE and Charles Schwab
Daily average revenue trades at E*TRADE fell by 11% relative to last November, and were off 10% when pitted against October's trading. Schwab did manage to post a 5% year-over-year gain, but suffered a sharp 15% sequential hit.
The news is slightly worse than the metrics that rival TD AMERITRADE
The good news here is that all three discount brokers are holding up well in terms of client assets. Folks may not be trading the way they used to, but they're certainly not closing their accounts. The same low-interest-rate environment that's been giving brokers headaches is also a blessing. After all, where is an investor going to turn? Fixed income is as scintillating as putting one's money under a mattress. Real estate's still feeling for a bottom. Gold's nearing a two-month low.
This is actually the kind of environment that would have made E*TRADE a compelling acquisition target for either Schwab or TD AMERITRADE, or perhaps an opportunity for one of the "too big to fail" banks. Wouldn't E*TRADE look good on the arm of Bank of America
Obviously, we can't judge E*TRADE's decision to remain independent based on a single month of trading activity. However, the discounter's stock is also nearing a two-year low. Something needs to happen to get the E*TRADE baby smiling again.
December, don't fail E*TRADE now.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.