Monday, October 11, 1999

Brokerages expand online hours

Fidelity joins recent trend

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Say you get home after a long day at work, throw on the fuzzy slippers, and want to trade some stocks. With the advent of a new service from several online brokerages, your trades can be executed then and there — not after the opening bell 15 hours later.

        A new after-hours trading market comes courtesy of Spear, Leeds & Kellogg; Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette; and the Charles Schwab Corp. On Friday, Fidelity Investments, which operates a major investor call center in Covington, announced it also was making the service available to its online clients.

        “We want to offer our cus tomers the convenience of being able of trade in the after-hours market,” said James Griffin, Fidelity spokesman. “A lot of our customers have indicated to us the desire to trade in the after-hours market, and this is the opportunity to do it.”

        Trading handled by the REDIBook electronic communications network, or ECN. The system matches “limit orders,” where investors state a specific price at which they would be willing to buy or sell a stock. Clients must buy minimum round lots of 100 shares.

        Boston-based Fidelity Investments will extend hours for online trading from 4:30 to 8 p.m., starting early next month.

        The move comes just days after Charles Schwab, one of Fidelity's biggest competitors in the discount online brokerage industry, announced similar plans. Taken together, the two announcements represent a significant increase in the potential number of after-hours traders.

        Mr. Griffin said because their ECN is a cooperative of major, high-volume brokerage houses, and will have connections to other ECNs, liquidity shouldn't be a problem.


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