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Lesson 7. The Markets > The American Stock Exchange - Pg. 36

The Markets 36 The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is, hands down, the world's most famous and powerful exchange as well as the largest stock exchange in the world. The ramifications of a day's trades at this exchange are worldwide and affect commerce and governments alike. For all its bedlam though, the NYSE trades only about 1,600 of the country's biggest stocks. "Biggest" meaning no company with less than $18 million in assets or less than 1.1 million issued shares need apply for a listing. Although the stock you purchase may be listed on the exchange, this is definitely not the arena for individual investors. It is, however, a super-cool place to visit if you are ever in New York. The exchange offers tours that prove the movies are neither lying nor exaggerating when they portray the exchange as a bedlam of screaming and waving. The American Stock Exchange The American Stock Exchange (AMEX) is also based in New York and has a great tale of origin. In 1842 men who were not considered "gentlemanly enough" to be admitted into the New York Stock Exchange stood outside the building, trading stocks on the curb and yelling and hollering loud enough to ensure that they were being heard by the "gentlemen" inside. These rabble-rousers, known as the New York Curb Exchange, traded stocks in this manner until 1921 when they finally moved indoors. Subsequently, in 1953 this exchange changed its name to The American Stock Exchange. Plain English The American Stock Exchange is the New York Stock Exchange's rival trading 900 of the nation's largest stock to the NYSE's 1,600. In addition, the AMEX requires the issuing com- pany to maintain a balance of $4 million in assets to the NYSE's minimum requirement of $18 million.