For many years, more securities were exchanged on the New York Stock Exchange than any other trading floor in the world. This made the NYSE not only the busiest exchange, but also the most prestigious. While the NYSE may no longer be leagues ahead of its rivals, the pictures of its chaotic trading floor will forever be the image of what happens every trading day on Wall Street.
The New York Stock Exchange traces its history back to what is called the Buttonwood Agreement of 1792. In that agreement, twenty-four brokers and merchants decided to trade securities on a commission basis. In that same year, a total of five securities were traded in New York City.
By 1817, the New York brokers establish a formal organization: the New York Stock & Exchange Board. This group laid down the foundation for rules of business conduct that enable the New York Stock Exchange to make today's claim they are the largest self-regulated organization in the world.
Between the years 1828 and 1835, the volume on the exchange floor increased 50 fold, and average daily volume exceeded 8,000 shares. By 1863, the New York Stock and Exchange Board adopted the shorter name of the New York Stock Exchange. Two years later, they moved into 10-12 Broad Street. This established the corner of Wall Street and Broad as the trading capital of the world.
On December 15, 1886, the NYSE hits another milestone when over one million shares exchange hands that day. Interestingly, October 10, 1953 marks the last time that less than one million shares are exchanged.
Listed below are some of the more intriguing milestones realized by the NYSE over the last 50 years:
In what was referred to as a "merger of equals" on April 4, 2007, the New York Stock Exchange finalized its merger with Euronext. Under terms of the deal, each NYSE share was converted into one share of common stock in the merged company - NYSE Euronext. As explained by NYSE Group boss John Thain:
"A partnership with Euronext fulfils our shared vision of building a truly global marketplace with great breadth of product and geographic reach that will benefit all investors, issuers, and our shareholders and stakeholders."
In January 2008, NYSE Euronext announced it was acquiring the American Stock Exchange for $260 million in stock. The deal was completed on October 1, 2008, and the exchange was re-branded as the NYSE Amex Equities.
Stocks worth $55.0 billion are exchanged daily on the floor of the NYSE EuroNext. There are currently around 2,358 companies (August 2019) listed on the exchange, with a market capitalization of $22.6 trillion (USD).
To be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the company must have in excess of 2,200 shareholders with an average daily trading volume of at least 100,000 shares. Generally, the company must have a total capitalization of $750 million or pretax earnings in excess of $10 million. There are several other possible combinations, but a company needs to be very big or very profitable to make it onto the NYSE.
The following are the holiday schedules for the NYSE in the calendar years 2018 and 2019:
|New Year's Day||January 1, 2019|
|Martin Luther King, Jr. Day||January 21, 2019|
|Presidents' Day||February 18, 2019|
|Good Friday||April 19, 2019|
|Memorial Day||May 27, 2019|
|Independence Day||July 4, 2019|
|Labor Day||September 2, 2019|
|Thanksgiving Day||November 28, 2019|
|Christmas||December 25, 2019|
The NYSE Euronext will close early (1:00 p.m.) on Friday, November 29, 2019, and Tuesday, December 24, 2019.
|New Year's Day||January 1, 2020|
|Martin Luther King, Jr. Day||January 20, 2020|
|Presidents' Day||February 17, 2020|
|Good Friday||April 10, 2020|
|Memorial Day||May 25, 2020|
|Independence Day||July 3, 2020|
|Labor Day||September 7, 2020|
|Thanksgiving Day||November 26, 2020|
|Christmas (Observed)||December 25, 2020|
The NYSE will close early (1:00 p.m.) on Friday, November 27, 2020, and Thursday, December 24, 2020.
The NYSE trading sessions are between the hours of 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. NYSE After-Hours runs from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The timetable for trading is as follows:
|Pre-Opening Session||03:30 - 04:00|
|Opening Session||04:00 - 09:30|
|Opening Auction||04:00 - 09:28|
|Market Order Freeze Period||09:28 - 0:930|
|Market Order Auction||09:30|
|Core Trading Session||09:30 - 16:00|
|Closing Auction Freeze (MOC / LOC)||15:58 - 16:00|
|Closing Auction Run||16:00|
|Closing Price Disseminated||16:00|
|Extended Hours||16:00 - 20:00|
|Limit Orders Cancelled||20:00|
The operating hours listed above are stated as Eastern Standard Time (EST) = GMT-5 / Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) = GMT-4.
By 1901, the current building for the NYSE could no longer accommodate the trading activity taking place there. The new stock exchange building was designed by one of New York's leading architects, George B. Post, with the intent to have more light, more space, and be more conducive to the trading of stocks.
In 1903, the new Exchange Building at 18 Broad Street is completed at a cost of nearly $4 million. It was also one of the first buildings in the world to employ air conditioning. Some of the many features of the building include:
About the Author - NYSE Euronext: Formerly the New York Stock Exchange