Ameritrade Nabs TD

Ameritrade continued its push toward online trading dominance Wednesday when it made the long-rumored acquisition of TD Waterhouse from Toronto-Dominion official.

Mergers and acquisitions among online stock trading firms have heated up as falling commissions have made trading volume a priority.

Ameritrade has been one of the more successful acquirers, snapping up sought-after rivals like Datek and fending off a hostile takeover bid by E*Trade that is reportedly up to $17.50 a share.

With its newfound bulk, TD Ameritrade could wind up acquiring E*Trade.

The broader market finished mixed once again after an early rally faltered on disappointing earnings news from Ford and Morgan Stanley .

The Nasdaq added 1 to 2092, the S&P was up a fraction to 1213, and the Dow declined 11 to 10,587. Volume rose to 1.82 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.71 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 19-13 on the NYSE, and 15-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 57% on the NYSE, and 48% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 246-33 on the NYSE, and 138-44 on the Nasdaq.

Jabil surged 10% on strong earnings.

Datawatch soared 23% on an application offering for IBM’s WebSphere platform.

SAP added 3% on an acquisition.

Motorola rose 3% on an upgrade.

Arbinet-Thexchange plunged 35% on a warning.

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