The New York Stock Exchange is the largest stock exchange in the world. It is located in Lower Manhattan in New York City. Its listed companies have a market capitalization of US$30.1 trillion. There are over 17,000 companies listed on the exchange. The average day’s trading volume is approximately $1.1 trillion.
Wall Street became a financial center in the late 1700s. The first trades occurred in war bonds, and later, in banking stocks for institutions. In 1792, 24 prominent merchants and brokers signed the Buttonwood Agreement, which outlined a commission-based system for trading securities. This agreement paved the way for the New York Stock Exchange.
The securities market was originally developed as a way for companies to raise capital and create jobs. Publicly-traded companies sold bonds and stocks to investors, who in turn shared in the company’s appreciation. They also received interest payments from bond investors. These sales of securities have helped public companies raise the capital needed for continued growth and expansion.
The New York Stock Exchange is the largest equities-based exchange in the world. It is also home to several major banks and brokerage firms.