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Schwab drops stock trading commissions as fee war escalates

NEW YORK (AP) — Charles Schwab is dropping commissions for online trading of U.S. stocks and exchange-traded funds, the latest slash in an industry battle that's drastically cut the cost of investing.

Tuesday's announcement sent shares of other brokerages plummeting. TD Ameritrade lost 25.8%, its worst day in 13 years. ETrade Financial lost 16.4%. Schwab fell 9.7%.

Schwab said commissions for mobile and web trading of stocks and ETFs listed in the U.S. and Canada will drop to zero from $4.95 on Monday.

The industry has been slashing fees across investments for years, as customers demand lower expenses. Stock mutual funds last year kept $55 in fees for every $10,000 invested, according to the Investment Company Institute. That's down from $100 in 2003.