TOP BROKERS Top Brokerage Firms Best IRA Brokerage Best Options Broker Best Brokers For Beginners Broker For Non-US Citizens Broker Promotions LOW COST BROKERS Low Stock Commissions Low Mutual Fund Commissions Low ETF Commissions Low Options Commissions Low Futures Commissions BROKERAGE FIRMS Ally Invest Ameritrade Capital One Investing Charles Schwab Etrade Fidelity Investments Firstrade Interactive Brokers Merrill Edge Motif Investing Optionshouse Optionsxpress Robinhood Scottrade Thinkorswim Tradeking Tradestation USAA Vanguard Wellstrade. OptionsXpress Yes Free if a customer makes more than 25 trades monthly None right now. Open OptionsXpress account and get 50 free trades. USAA No NA Open USAA Brokerage Account. Level 2 quotes are an indicator used by both retail and professional traders to find clues for near term trading direction in stocks. Offered on NASDAQ securities, Level 2 quotes show the order flow for any given stock during market hours, ranked by bid and ask levels. These quotes go beyond the simple bid and ask displayed on the basic level of price quotation for placing trades. More important than the price is the part of the quote that indicates who the buyer or seller is, and in what size they are trading at that moment. Level trading Participants and Trading Every market participant will be identified by a four-letter code, seen right next to the order to buy or sell. For example, JP Morgan is seen with the trading JPHQ every time that they initiate a trade. This is important since it sends a message to market participants of who is trading in the stock, and in what size, which may indicate interest by large institutions. The optionshouse types of market participants are 1. Electronic Communications Networks ECN and 3. Wholesalers often execute orders for online and retail brokers, while anyone can trade through ECNs. Why Level 2 is Important to Retail Traders For retail traders, Level 2 quotes can be helpful to display which types of market players are trading a specific stock, and in what direction. If a trader can see a large market maker buying a level stock, then trading along with them may result in a short-term profit. This tends to work best for day traders in stocks, catching smaller price movements. One can also notice optimal times to get out of a trade, by watching irregularities in the bid and ask as larger traders start to exit their positions. Naturally, these skills take some time to perfect, but may offer a slight advantage to those who are willing to make the effort. None of this is a guarantee for the retail trader, and is level only one of many tools that should be used for successful stock trading. Level instance, large institutions and market makers can disguise trades by using the ECNs or through placing smaller orders that escape obvious attention. All of these participants are professionals that know how to profit from the system in place, and they have the weight of experience on their side. But if one day optionshouse frequently and would like more data or information on stock prices, then having Level 2 may be desirable. Brokerages That Offer Level 2 For Their Retail Customers Most retail brokerages have access to Level 2 for their customers, but because of its value not all offer it for free. In many cases, it depends how often a customer trades meaning how much they spend on commissionsand whether they are professional traders. Optionshouse professional traders are required to pay a monthly fee for access, while non-professionals have other ways to qualify. There is only one retail brokerage offering Level 2 quote service completely level to non-professionals, regardless of activity level or account size, and this is TD Optionshouse. Actually, no other company on the matket right now comes close to offering the same level of trading tools free of charge as TD Ameritrade. From there, the best deals for the non-professional are those that offer Level 2 for making a minimum number of trades each month or quarter, typically requiring 25 to 30 trades. This is not a high level of trading for one who plans to use Level 2, averaging about a trade a day for complimentary access. Brokerages with this entry level are Schwab, Etrade, Merrill Lynch, Scottrade and Ally Invest. The access and cost of Level 2 quotes are only one consideration when selecting a broker for stock trading, but depending on other factors this may trading important to some traders. Anyone committed to day trading and understanding more about the large market participants who are buying and selling, could profit from a Level 2 service. Scottrade vs TD Ameritrade Largest retail brokerage firms Vanguard vs TIAA CREF Fidelity competitors Vanguard or Schwab. See Terms optionshouse Use. Online Brokerage Firms Accounts That Offer Free Level 2 Quotes See which discount online brokerage companies are offering level 2 quotes in Discount Brokerage Firms That Offer Level 2 Quotes. Brokerage Rating Offers Level 2 Quotes Level 2 Quotes Cost New Account Promotion Ally Invest. Open account and start saving with Scottrade level. Open USAA Brokerage Account. All rights are reserved.