Course 102: The Stock Exchanges
The American Stock Exchange
In this course
1 Introduction
2 The New York Stock Exchange
3 Nasdaq
4 The American Stock Exchange
5 Regional Exchanges
6 Over-the-Counter (OTC) Stocks

The third-biggest national stock exchange is the American Stock Exchange, or Amex. Until the 1950s, it was known as the "Curb Exchange," because it originated with brokers meeting on the curb outside the New York Stock Exchange to trade stocks that didn't qualify for the Big Board. Those days are long gone, as Amex now has a trading floor located just up the street from the NYSE, and trading at the two places is done in much the same way. In 1998, the National Association of Securities Dealers, the parent of Nasdaq, bought Amex and combined the two markets into the Nasdaq-Amex Market Group.

The role of Amex has changed over the years. It used to be a major alternative to the NYSE for large U.S. stocks, but Nasdaq now fills that role, and the stocks currently trading on Amex are virtually all small- and mid-cap in size. Most of the trading on Amex these days is in options and other derivatives, whose value depends on the price of some security or index of securities. Since derivatives have become very popular, they have helped Amex to continue thriving.

Next: Regional Exchanges >>


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