Interactive Brokers’ DARTs Down as COVID-19 Boost Loses Steam

In April, the number of DARTs were reported at 1.720 million transactions, a fall of -12% MoM from 1.96 million‎

Trading activity at Interactive Brokers LLC (NASDAQ:IBKR) lost some momentum in April with volumes easing on a monthly comparison basis following record gains in March. The broker, however, posted its second-best reading for Daily Average Revenue Trades (DARTs), a sign that it is too early to bet the big rally could be coming to an end.

During April 2020, the number of DARTs were reported at 1.720 million transactions, a fall of -12 percent month-over-month from 1.96 million‎ in March. On a year-on-year basis, Interactive Brokers saw a brighter performance in its DARTs with April’s figure up 121 percent relative to nearly 778k transactions reported in the same month last year.

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Interactive Brokers, whose two main divisions were online brokerage and market-making before it ceased the latter in 2018, has won more clients, with total April’s active accounts up to 805,600, or 6 percent higher from 795,600 accounts the previous month. The figure was higher by 27 percent year-over-year when compared to April 2019 (‎630,700 ‎accounts).

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Reflecting its recent restrictions on borrowed margins, Interactive Brokers’ ending client margin loan balances were around $20 billion in April 2020, a touch higher above its March counterpart but still lower by over 20 percent than the prior year and also reducing clients’ exposure by a third when compared to February.

On average, in April 2020, Interactive Brokers charged clients commission fees of $2.77 per order, including exchange, clearing and regulatory fees, with the key products metrics coming out at $1.98 for stocks, $4.41 for equity options and $3.97 for futures orders.

March was the busiest trading month on record in the US, with almost all big brokers and major exchanges feeling intense on a huge turnover that was only seen in the depths of the financial crisis in October 2008. The rapid shifts resulted in record volumes in almost all exchange-traded products.

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