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Schwab, TD Ameritrade Daily Trades Drop Over 22% in May

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Charles Schwab said Wednesday the average daily trading of its clients dropped to about 395,900 in May, down 23% from last year and a drop of 9% from April. According to data compiled by Schwab, daily trading volume on NYSE fell 43% in May 2011 vs. May 2010, but it rose 6% over April 2011. NASDAQ’s May daily-trading volume had a 29% year-over-year decline, though it ticked up 6% vs. April.   

Rival TD Ameritrade shared last week that its clients made 370,000 average daily trades in May, a drop of 22% from a year ago and 6% from April.

Schwab also reported Wednesday that net new assets were $9.4 billion in May, the highest level so far this year. Total assets held by Schwab clients were $1.67 trillion in May 2011, up 18% from a year ago but down 1% from April.

In comparison, TD Ameritrade had about $420 billion in total client assets as of May 2011, up 26% from May 2010 and a drop of 1% from April 2011.

In May, Schwab clients saw net market losses of about $18 billion. The number of active brokerage accounts was 8,127,000 in May 2011, up slightly from 8,112,000 in the previous month and a jump of 3% from 7,869,000 a year ago.

In terms of new brokerage accounts, Schwab attracted some 61,000 clients – an increase of 3% from 59,000 last May, but a 27% decline from 83,000 in April 2011.

Fund Flows

Clients in Schwab accounts moved about $950 million out of large- and small-cap funds in May. Meanwhile, they purchased about $535 million in specialized funds, $479 million of hybrid funds, $1.9 billion of taxable-bond funds and $1.5 billion of money-market funds.

Earlier Wednesday, Morningstar said U.S. stock funds recorded their first significant outflows of 2011, losing $4.5 billion in May – a higher figure than the $2.7 billion in U.S. equity outflows reported by Strategic Insights on Tuesday.