TD Ameritrade: Facebook Makes Up 25%-29% Of Co's Volume Friday

Date : 05/18/2012 @ 2:36PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : E*Trade Financial Corp. (MM) (ETFC)
Quote : 35.19  0.59 (1.71%) @ 8:00PM

TD Ameritrade: Facebook Makes Up 25%-29% Of Co's Volume Friday

TD AmeriTrade Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:AMTD)
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TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (AMTD) Senior Vice President of Trading Steve Quirk said trading in shares of Facebook Inc. (FB), in its market debut, has accounted for roughly 25% to 29% of the online brokerage's total trading volume so far on Friday.

In an interview, Quirk said the company's daily average revenue trades, or DARTs, a measure of trading activity, on Friday should be "well north" of the company's volume for the past few months and the 388,000 in average trades per day it reported in its fiscal second quarter.

"We had said if it was north of 20%, we'd be pleasantly surprised," Quirk said, adding that the expiration of May options was also another factor in boosting volume on Friday.

Online brokerages such as TD Ameritrade and its rivals, Charles Schwab Corp. (SCHW) and E*Trade Holding Corp. (ETFC), will take any trading catalyst they can get as the European sovereign-debt crisis and concerns about a slowing economy have reined in trading volume recently. Ameritrade, itself, has reported declining activity for three straight months.

But Friday, so far, has been another story.

Heavy trading in Facebook by the company's customers has dwarfed that of other high-profile social-media IPOs. The initial public offering of LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD) accounted for 5% of TD Ameritrade's total DARTs, while Groupon Inc. (GRPN) and Pandora Media Inc. (P) accounted for 4.3% and 3%, respectively.

In another sign of investor appetite for Facebook, Quirk said Apple Inc. (AAPL), a technology bellwether and one of the most popular names among the brokerage's clients, typically accounts for just 4% of Ameritrade's total trades and as much as 10% on days when the company makes a "large announcement."

As of 10:30 a.m. EDT, TD Ameritrade had entered about 45,000 customer orders to trade Facebook, a number that climbed to roughly 60,000 by the time it began trading, Quirk said.

"The demand was obviously pretty large and we accommodated nearly half of it," he said.

-By Brett Philbin, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2173; brett.philbin@dowjones.com

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