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New York Stock Exchange


The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), is the country's oldest and largest securities exchange. It dates from May 17, 1792 when local brokers agreed to formalize their business transactions. The brokers had, until then, been buying and selling securities under a designated tree.

In 1825 the NYSE opened for business at 11 Wall Street, New York City. At that time most shares traded were in canal, turnpike, mining, and gaslight companies. Though some industrial securities were traded on the NYSE as early as 1831, it would be 40 years before industries began to dominate the trading floor. As the nation became increasingly oriented toward manufacturing, the companies listed on the exchange reflected this economic shift.

Corporations applying to list their stock on the NYSE must have a minimum of two thousand shareholders. Each original shareholder must have one hundred or more shares, the corporation must be able to issue at least one million shares of stock, and it must also provide a record of earnings for the previous three-year period. The board of the stock exchange may make exceptions to these guidelines.

Corporations may be listed with other stock exchanges (such as the American Stock Exchange) or they may allow stock in their company to be traded as unlisted stocks, which are bought and sold in over-thecounter (OTC) trading. Companies that do not allow shares to be publicly traded are called private corporations.

See also: Stock, Stock Market

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