If you are ever going to a pub quiz on financial markets, here are a few facts that may be helpful to you:
- The oldest stock exchange in the world started in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1460.
- The oldest stock exchange in the United States, opened in Philadelphia, in 1790.
- 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 first company listed on the New York Stock Exchange was, the Bank of New York, in 1792. It still exists today under the ticker BK!
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average first closed over 100 in 1906. It first closed over 1,000 in 1972. It first closed over 10,000 in 1999. Today it is above 18,000!
- The stock, First Midwest Federal, has CASH, as its symbol. The stock, Lacrosse Footwear, has BOOT, as its symbol. If you do some searching on your own, you can find some really interesting symbols in the various exchanges.
I suggest you look for the tickers of Telecom Italia, the Caisse Régionale du Crédit Agricole Mutuel Alpes Provence, the Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF, the Asia Tiger Fund, specialty chemicals Dynamic Materials or the veterinary provider VCA.
- The American Stock Exchange was originally called, “The Curb”. This is because traders first started out on the streets of New York City, standing by the curb.
- The NYSE was originally organized at the Tontine Coffee House, located at the northwest corner of Wall and Water Streets, at 82 Wall Street. Business was transacted there until 1817.
The Tontine Coffee House was located across from the Meal Market, where enslaved workers could be hired or bought. No change from today!
- There are thirty companies on the DJIA, with the list constantly being revised. For example, Kraft Foods recently replaced AIG on the index (September 22, 2008). The oldest DJIA component is General Electric, added in November 7th, 1907. The newest DJIA component is Kraft Foods, added September 22nd, 2008.
- The stock market is named after former Boston Bruin enforcer P.J. Stock’s great, great, great grandfather, when he started selling chunks of a company that didn’t actually exist. The company was named Stocks.
- Finally, because we are all keen linguists. In China they call the stock market 股市, which translates to “the stock market.” Phew.
I must say there is one fact which I find dubious.
If you find which one, then I draw my hat to you.