Wall Street is a huge world of finance and investments, which includes the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, and some regional stock exchanges governed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Speaking of Wall Street, analysts also mean those who trade on over-the-counter (OVC) market.
The street got its name back in the XVII century, when no stock exchanges existed, from the wall that separated the Dutch settlement New Amsterdam from the native Americans. At the end of 1699 the wall was ruined, but the name remained unchanged.
By 1789 after the long war, the United States of America gained independence and became a sovereign country. In the same year the Americans elected the first president of the United States George Washington, and the Congress at first calling decided to issue the public bonds in the total amount of 80 million dollars to cover the military expenses. Later the first national bank, the Bank of United States, followed the lead of the Congress and issued its shares.
There were the stocks but there wasn’t a place to trade them. The sellers were searching the buyers and vice versa by publishing the ads in the local newspapers. Soon stocks were traded like other goods, “over-the-counter”, where the name of the market came from.
More and more people bought the securities, so enterprising traders at Wall Street established the Central auction for trading securities. But some brokers came to the auction to know the price and sold their stocks at the street.
The newly implemented rules were aimed at controlling the dishonest brokers. In May 1792, 24 people signed the Buttonwood Agreement and became the official stockbrokers of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), although this name appeared later. Many years it had been renting different buildings until in 1903 it settled at 11 Wall Street, where we can find the NYSE today.
In the XIX century the New York Stock Exchange was not the only place to trade securities. Often deals were concluded in the street because there were a lot of new gold-mining and railway companies. Stocks of these enterprises deemed speculative, and the official stockbrokers consider them extremely risky to trade.
At the beginning of 1990s, a talented and successful broker Emanuel S. Mendels created the Curb Market Agency, which regulated the street equities trading. Mendels developed the rules for curbstone brokers, which united the crowd from the Wall Street to be a regulated organization. June 27, 1927 the first trading session was opened at Trinity Place, so the New York Curb Exchange got its own floor.
In 1953 the New York Curb Exchange was renamed to the American Stock Exchange.
In the XXI century the Wall Street is the historical center of the financial district of New York City with the NYSE floor in it. That is why the stock exchange and the whole North American stock market are usually called Wall Street.
In 2012 the American Stock Exchange was renamed to NYSE MKT LLC. NASDAQ stands for National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations.
Wall Street indices
The Dow Jones index is the oldest one among the US market indices:
S&P 500 indicates the state of the business activity in the USA:
NASDAQ is an indicator of demand and supply on the stock market of high technology companies: