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Wall Street Roundup

Online brokers may merge

August 23, 2007|From Times Wire Reports

Shares of online brokerage TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. rose the most in more than a year after reports said the company was in talks to merge with smaller rival E-Trade Financial Corp.

TD Ameritrade, the third-largest online broker by client assets, and E-Trade, the fourth-biggest, have been in "serious discussions for weeks," the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Shares of TD Ameritrade, based in Omaha, climbed 80 cents, or 4.9%, to $17.15, their biggest gain since a 5.9% hike on July 25, 2006. Shares of New York-based E-Trade fell 32 cents to $15.25.

A combination may help the two companies weather slower growth this year after both reported record profit last year.

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