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BofA expands commission-free trading in Merrill Edge Self-Directed platform

Bank of America Corp. will now offer commission-free online stock, exchange-traded fund and option trading to all Merrill Edge Self-Directed investors.

The banking giant previously offered commission-free trading to Merrill Edge Self-Directed clients enrolled in the preferred rewards program.

BofA said zero-dollar option trades are still subject to a fee of 65 cents per contract. Sales will be charged a transaction fee of between 1 cent and 3 cents per $1,000 of principal.

Major brokerages in recent months cut commissions to zero, with Charles Schwab Corp. the first to do so. Schwab's decision was followed by similar moves at other brokerages such as TD Ameritrade Holding Corp., E*TRADE Financial Corp. and Fidelity Investments.