About the New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is the largest stock exchange in the world by market capitalisation – with the total value of the stocks traded on the exchange being in the region of $20 trillion. It’s located at the heart of New York’s financial district, and has occupied the current address of 11 Wall Street since 1865.
On this page you’ll find a list of the New York Stock Exchange companies, relevant indices that track the exchange, information about its illustrious history, and the performance of today’s tradable stocks.
The New York Stock Exchange is almost as old as the United States of America itself. The founding of the exchange can be traced back to the 17th of May 1792 when a group of 24 brokers signed what is today referred to as the Buttonwood Agreement. This agreement allowed brokers to deal directly with each other when trading securities – something that had always been mediated by an auctioneer until that point.
The first shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange were all major banks: the Bank of North America, First Bank of the United States, and the Bank of New York. The exchange grew throughout the nineteenth century, with a surge in speculative securities trading being seen throughout the American Civil War driving up activity on the New York Stock Exchange until 1865 – the year that saw both the Union’s victory and the NYSE’s move to 11 Wall Street, where it is still based today.
The exchange weathered all the storms of the twentieth century and continued to grow in value, with occasional crashes and corrections. One notable moment which saw the NYSE’s foundations shaken was the 1929 stock market crash and the Great Depression that followed throughout the 1930s. This event saw a new host of regulations on securities trading introduced by the US government in order to mitigate the risk of such a crash happening again.
In 2005, the New York Stock Exchange’s board voted in favour of a merger with the Archipelago Exchange. This led to the exchange incorporating as a for-profit public company named NYSE Group on 8th March 2006. The merger with Archipelago was then followed by another merger with Euronext on 4th April 2007, which saw the foundation of NYSE Euronext. Through this, the New York Stock Exchange became the first-ever transatlantic stock exchange.
On 23rd March 2020, the exchange took the unprecedented step of closing its famous trading floor and moving to fully online trading due to the global coronavirus epidemic. The New York Stock Exchange has been one of the most well-known entities for trading stocks for over two centuries now, and it’s clear that the board will continue to look for new innovations to maintain its place at the head of global finance well into the future.
There are three principal indices that track the NYSE:
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average
- The S&P 500
- NYSE Composite
All three of these use different indicators to measure performance, which we’ll quickly outline here.
The Dow Jones follows the market performance of 30 large companies listed on stock exchanges across the USA, with the S&P taking a broader approach by measuring the stock performance of 500 such companies. The NYSE Composite, on the other hand, tracks over 2,000 stocks regularly traded specifically at the New York Stock Exchange.
The NYSE is the largest stock exchange on the planet, with over 2,800 listed companies and a trading volume of between 2 and 6 billion shares each day. The companies whose stocks are listed on the exchange cover almost every sector of the US economy, including securities, banking, insurance, and asset management.
One of the most notable companies listed on the exchange is Berkshire Hathaway, the multinational holding company famously headed by Warren Buffet. On 14th August 2014, the company’s Class A shares became the first shares to be valued at over $200,000 each on the NYSE.
The market capitalisation of the New York Stock Exchange fluctuates over time, and currently stands at around $20 trillion. The amount of money that flows through the exchange makes it an essential part of not just the US economy, but the global financial system itself.