Level II Quotes and Time & Sales

The lower portion of the Stock Tab displays Level II information (as shown in the following figure):

Stock symbols and price and volume data shown here and in the software are for illustrative purposes only. Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., its parent or affiliates, and/or its employees and/or directors may have positions in securities referenced herein, and may, as principal or agent, buy from or sell to clients.


NOTE:  Level II data is available to you for a fee if you wish to subscribe to the service. However, the fee may be waived if you meet certain eligibility requirements. For additional information, please contact your Schwab Active Trader Team.

Aggregate Quotes

  • Aggregate quotes show the number of shares being quoted at each price level. The size is the sum of all of the individual market maker/ECN quotes at that level.
  • You can view/hide the aggregation by checking Display Aggregate Quotes in the Trading window menu Settings > L2 Data > Display Settings.
  • Increase or decrease the number of aggregate levels shown by clicking and dragging the divider bar between the aggregate and Level II areas.

Level II

Shows the depth of all bids and asks in a symbol. The left column shows the Bids; the middle column displays the Asks. Each line shows:

  • The four-letter Market Maker, ECN, or Exchange ID,
  • Their best Bid or Ask price (while this is their best price, it may not reflect their entire book),
  • The Market Maker will always be displayed in capital letters, while the ECNs will only display in capital letters if only their best Bid/Ask quote is displayed. Other non-NASDAQ quotes are noted with an asterisk (*).
  • To change the display, go to Settings > General > L2 Data and click all available ECN books or exchanges.
    NOTE: The availability of book quotes from some ECNs is sporadic. If checked, the software will display these quotes when available.  
  • Number of shares they are making available at that price.  
  • Shares available are shown in actual amounts.  

Level II Tips

  • Check Show Equity Quote Volume in 100s in the Settings > General > L2 Data window of your Trading window to display available shares at 1/100th of their real value (e.g. 10 means the participant has 1000 shares available). If there are parentheses ( ) around the number, it is for fewer than 100 shares and is the "actual" number of shares they are making available (For example: If you see (75), the participant has exactly 75 shares to buy or sell.)
  • Direction Quote Change Arrow: Activates small up / down arrows in the Level II area of the Trading window indicating the direction a market participant just moved in relation to the inside price.
     If Market Maker ABCD is on the bid at 65.20, but backs off to 65.17, a down arrow will appear at the new price level. If ABCD moves back up to 65.20, an up arrow will appear.  

    To add this to your display, go to Settings General > L2 Data tab and click Show Directional Quote Change Arrow.  
  • Show Status of Bid/Ask: You can view the Status of the bids and offers. Check Show Status of Bid/Ask in the Trading window Settings > General window to display:
    = open, displays a current, valid quote for the participant;
    = open for trading, but the quote has not been refreshed;
    = closed for trading.

Time & Sales

Shows every trade being reported through NASDAQ and NYSE plus some ECN book trades, as well as the share size and time the trade was reported.

Time & Sales is color-coded. These colors may be changed by going to Settings > Colors in the Trading window menu.

The default colors are::

  • Green: Trades at the inside Ask
  • Red: Trades at the inside Bid
  • White/Gray: Trades in between the inside Bid/Ask
  • Yellow: Trades above the inside Ask
  • Purple: Trades below the inside Bid
  • Grey Highlight: Inside quote change. Not a transaction.

Set the number of trades back to view through the Settings > General menu. To expand this view up to the last 1000 trades, right-click in the T&S window and select Request Expanded T&S.


Viewing More Level II Quotes

To view more quotes, right-click in the Bids, Asks, or Time & Sales area of Level II and select Show Scroll Bar. This will allow you to scroll down and see the quotes that do not fit in the screen.

View Entire ECN Books

Go to Settings > General > L2 Data tab and check those boxes under Display Bid/Ask Quotes. When the entire book is displayed, the ECN ID and quote data will appear in red lower case text.

Exchange Codes

BSE - Boston Stock Exchange

CIN - Cincinnati Stock Exchange

CSE - Chicago Stock Exchange

C2 - C2 Options Exchange


NYS - New York Stock Exchange

OTC - Over the Counter

OTCBB - Over the Counter Bulletin Board

PHS - Philadelphia Stock Exchange

PSE - Pacific Stock Exchange (ARCA)

WCB - Chicago Board Options Exchange

BATS -BATS Exchange

BATY - BATY Exchange

EDGA - EDGA Exchange

EDGX - EDGX  Exchange


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