Monday, October 24, 2016

Industry Slowdown Prompts Big Merger of Discount Brokerages

Scottrade customers may be seeing changes to the discount brokerage services they receive,such as higher fees,by the end of September 2017,as TD Ameritrade,America's largest discount brokerage by trade volume,purchases the privately held Scottrade Financial Services for four billion dollars.In turn,TD Bank,Toronto Dominion Bank's US subsidiary,will then buy Scottrade Bank for 1.3 billion.
TD Bank owns nearly 42% of TD Ameritrade.*
Although based in St.Louis today,Scottrade derives its name from the fact that it was founded in Scottsdale,Arizona.Founder and CEO Rodger Riney,who suffers from multiple myeloma blood cancer,will become a member of the TD Ameritrade board post-merger.Mr.Riney has become a familiar face to Americans by appearing in several TV adverts for his company.*
The deal is expected to realise cost savings of about 450 million dollars annually for TD Ameritrade,and more than 300 million in additional longer-term opportunities.As a result of the merger,TDA will grow to 600 retail branches,but intends to slim down to about 450.*
The discount brokerage business has been hurt by intense competition and the trend of switching to passive investing rather than the day trading model,making organic growth more difficult.*
TD Ameritrade Holding Corp (AMTD)

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Orbital ATK Rocket Launch Rescheduled - new ISS crew to follow

Yesterday's planned launch of the Orbital ATK Antares rocket from the NASA Wallops Island Flight Facility,Virginia,was postponed about 24 hours because of a fault detected in a ground support equipment cable (GSE) during a pre-launch checkout,the company said.They have spares on hand and rework procedures are now in process.There are no technical issues with the rocket or Cygnus spacecraft.The launch has been rescheduled for tonight,17 October at 7:40 p.m. EDT.*
The Cygnus spacecraft is carrying cargo for the International Space Station.On Wednesday 19 October,a replacemet crew for the ISS is scheduled to lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome,Kazakhstan.Expedition 49's Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko will be joined by NASA Astronaut Shane Kimbrough and launched in the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft at 4:05 p.m. EDT.They will take two days to test upgraded equipment on the Soyuz,docking at the ISS Poisk module at 5:59 a.m. EDT.The launch has been postponed since 23 September because of a technical issue with the Soyuz that Roscomos repaired.They will return in late February having carried out hundreds of experiments in biology;biotechnology;physial science and Earth science.*
Orbital ATK is an aerospace manufacturer and defence contractor formed from the merger in 2015 of Orbital Sciences Corp. and Alliant Techsystems.It is based in Dulles,Virginia.*
Orbital ATK Inc (OA)