best level 2 trading platform

Free Level 2 Quotes Platform in 2022


Broker offering the best free level 2 NASDAQ market data stock quotes service: Moomoo, TIAA, ZacksTrade and others.


Level 2 Quotes at Stock Brokers


Brokerage Rating Offers Level 2 Quotes Level 2 Quotes Cost
New Account Promotion
Ally Invest
Ally Invest rating

YesAvailable to clients that make 25 or more trades per month. No charge. Learn more... Up to $3,000 cash bonus + $0 commission trades.
TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade rating

YesFREE and NO requirements. Learn more...$0 commissions + transfer fee reimbursement.
Charles Schwab
Charles Schwab rating

YesFree to non-professionals who make 30 trades during a quarter or maintain $1 million or more in Schwab balances. Learn more...Get commission-free online stock trades.
Etrade
Etrade rating

YesFree. Learn more... Get zero commission on stock and ETF trades.
Fidelity
Fidelity Investments rating

YesFree if a customer executes 120 or more trades per year. Learn more...Get $0 stock commissions.
Firstrade
Firstrade rating

NoLearn more...Get 2 FREE stocks and $0 commission in ALL trades!
Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers rating

Yes$55.50 per month. Learn more...Use this referral link to get up to $1,000 of IBKR stock for free!
JP Morgan
J.P. Morgan Chase Brokerage Rating

NoLearn more... Get up to $625 when you fund a J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing account.
Merrill Edge
Merrill Edge rating

YesFree to customers who have $1 million in Merrill Lynch accounts and Bank of America or make at least 30 trades during a quarter. Learn more...Get up to $600 when you open a new Merrill Edge account with at least $20,000.
Public
4-star brokerage rating

Nona Get a FREE stock and $0 commission stocks/ETFs/partial shares.
Robinhood
Robinhood Trading rating

YesWith Gold account for a $5 monthly fee. Learn more...Get a FREE stock when you open an account with this referral.
Tastyworks
TastyWorks rating

NoLearn more... $150 cash bonus when you transfer funds into TradeStation.
TIAA
TIAA brokerage rating

NonaNone
TradeStation
Tradestation rating

Yes$10 per month for non-professionals, $110 per month for professionals. Learn more... $150 cash bonus when you transfer funds into TradeStation.
TradeZero
Tradezero rating

Yes25 per month. Trade stocks, options & ETFs for free.
Vanguard
Vanguard rating

NoLearn more...None
WeBull
WeBull rating

Yes$1.99 per month. Learn more... 12 FREE stocks valued $34-$30,600 give-away at Webull.
WellsTrade
Wellstrade rating

NoLearn more...None
ZacksTrade
ZacksTrade rating

YesAt least $10 per month. Learn more... Get as low as 3.56% margin rate + $150 ACAT fee refund.


Best Free Level 2 Quotes Platform


TD Ameritrade's clients receive Level II data at no charge. The broker also charges rock bottom rate for stock and ETF trades - $0 per trade. With Thinkorswim best-in-class trading technology, it’s hard to beat TD Ameritrade. Non-professionals also get free real-time OPRA, AMEX, and NYSE quotes. Professionals have to pay extra for this info (learn more).


Try TD Ameritrade For Free



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About Level 2 Quotes


Level 2 quotes are an indicator used by both retail and professional traders to find clues for near term price 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 2 Participants and Symbols


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 code 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. To the right of the code is the current bid/ask and then the number of shares in the trade.

The three types of market participants are 1.) market makers creating liquidity, 2.) Electronic Communications Networks (ECN) and 3.) wholesalers. Wholesalers often execute orders for online and retail brokers, while anyone can trade through ECNs.


brokers with free level 2 level 2 quotes


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 trending 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 really only one of many tools that should be used for successful stock trading. For 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 trades frequently and would like more data or information on stock prices, then having Level 2 may be desirable.


Free level 2 quotes


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 commissions), and whether they are professional traders. Most professional traders are required to pay a monthly fee for access, while non-professionals have other ways to qualify.

There is only one brokerage firm offering Level 2 quote service completely free to non-professionals, regardless of activity level or account size, and this is TD Ameritrade. Actually, no other company on the market 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, and Ally Invest.

Other brokerages may charge a flat monthly fee to access Level 2 quotes, such as Firstrade and Tradestation at $19.95 and $11.00 respectively, while others require an account minimum like Fidelity, if you don’t trade more than 120 times a year. The most straightforward offering is from Interactive Brokers where one must spend $10 in commissions per month, or pay a monthly fee of $20 for access. A few brokerages don’t offer Level 2 at all, including Vanguard, Robinhood, and Wellstrade.

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 be 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.


Disclaimer


INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE


About the Author
Chad Morris is a financial writer with more than 20 years experience as both an English teacher and an avid trader. When he isn’t writing expert content for Brokerage-Review.com, Chad can usually be found managing his portfolio or building a new home computer.