Some new bricks for a leader in clicks

Can a sharp new building help offset a sour mood?

Online investment bank and brokerage E-Trade opened a 30,000-square-foot investing center (below) last month in New York aimed at providing off-the-street investors with access to their trading accounts on some 200 Compaq computers.

Also offered: educational seminars, access to financial books - even a gift shop and cafe.

It's a bold move. Online brokerages as a group are feeling the effects of a slowdown in trading by do-it-yourself investors. E-Trade's own stock has been hit, though its online-banking arm may keep the firm moving forward. Rival Ameritrade just cut its workforce by more than 7 percent. And Charles Schwab & Co. announced a similar cut last month.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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