"Own your tomorrow," says Charles Schwab ($NYSE:SCHW), which is its popular catchphrase. Now, the San Francisco-based brokerage is also out to own TD Ameritrade as well as its tomorrow.

A merger between two of the top retirement fund account advisers would create a money manager with $5 trillion in total assets. For Chuck, it also meant a 42% reduction in job postings in recent months, from more than 700 this spring to about 400 at last tally. 

And, once again, as we've seen before prior to mega-deals, the would-be acquirer made the decision to reduce job postings heading into negotiations - perhaps at the advice of the bankers confident the deal would be agreed upon by shareholders and regulators. After all - brokerages are facing a crisis, as 'zero-fee' accounts and digital competitors are disrupting traditional businesses, and the deal makes sense for all parties involved - except, perhaps, for brokers increasingly likely to be laid off in wake of the deal, if and when it's completed. 

Shares of both companies surged on the news Thursday, November 21. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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