Stock Market Facts

Stock Market Facts

A stock market is an institution where humans and computers buy and sell shares of companies for profit.

  • Wall Street was laid out behind a 12-foot-high wood stockade across lower Manhattan in 1685. The stockade was built to protect the Dutch settlers from British and Native American attacks.
  • The “stock market” began in May 17th, 1792 when 24 stock brokers and merchants signed the Buttonwood Agreement.
  • The first stock ticker was invented by Edward A. Calahan in 1867.
  • The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) began in 1817 as the brokers formed the New York Stock & Exchange Board (NYS&EB), renting rooms at 40 Wall Street and adopting a constitution
  • Anthony Stockholm was the first President of the NYSE.
  • Originally stocks were traded in what’s known as a “call market.” The President would read out each stock and the brokers would trade them. There was a morning session and an afternoon session.
  • There are 2,764 listed securities on the exchange.
  • In 1868, there were 533 seats on the NYSE. There are currently 1,366 seats available on the NYSE.
  • Muriel Siebert was the first woman to own a seat on the NYSE in 1967. Joseph L. Searles III was the first African-American member of the Exchange in 1970.
  • On December 1st, 2005, the highest price was paid for membership in the NYSE at $4 million. Thirty days later, December 31st, the NYSE moves away from seats to annual trading licenses.

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