SEC asks US online brokers to offer more advice

US Regulators are planning to recommend that online brokerages give investors more information about Web site outages and other glitches.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is due to release a 100-page report with recommendations to online brokerages on how to better manage the burgeoning industry.

The recommendations, which fall short of outright requirements, include the need for online stock trading firms to inform customers whether and when their investments are "suitable" for them, according to the report. Online brokers until now have focused on executing trades, leaving the job of recommending stocks to traditional brokers.

The report also recommends that stock exchanges and other "market centres" provide online brokers more accurate and timely information about stock prices and market conditions. This can help online brokers route their orders and help assure customers their trades are executed quickly.

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