What is the American Stock Exchange (AMEX)?
The American Stock Exchange (AMEX) started operations in 1908 as the New York Curb Market Agency. The AMEX was originally composed of traders and brokers that would get together to buy and sell stocks at an open location in New York City. It was a self-regulated and very rudimentary market, where most transactions were done by shouting.
The market became more structured with time and, in 1921, became the New York Curb Exchange, which was a co-operatively owned by its members. The change brought more rules to the exchange, but it remained relatively unorganized. The exchange continued to operate outside until 1921 when it moved into a building in Lower Manhattan.
The exchange took its modern form in 1953 when it was named the American Stock Exchange (AMEX).
History of the American Stock Exchange (AMEX)
The AMEX dates back to the late 18th century when the American trading market was still developing. At that time, without a formalized exchange, stockbrokers would meet in coffeehouses and on the street to trade securities. For this reason, the AMEX became known at one time as the New York Curb Exchange.
The traders who originally met in the streets of New York became known as curbstone brokers. They specialized in trading stocks of emerging companies. At the time, many of these emerging businesses were in industries such as railroads, oil, and textiles, while those industries were still getting off the ground.
In the 19th century, this type of curbside trading was informal and quite disorganized. In 1908, the New York Curb Market Agency was established in order to bring rules and regulations to trading practices.
In 1929, the New York Curb Market became the New York Curb Exchange. It had a formalized trading floor and a set of rules and regulations. In the 1950s, more and more emerging businesses began trading their stocks on the New York Curb Exchange. The value of companies listed on the exchange almost doubled between 1950 and 1960, going from $12 billion to $23 billion during that time. The New York Curb Exchange changed its name to the American Stock Exchange in 1953.