Stock Market Guide to the American Stock Exchange
Based in Manhattan, New York City, the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) was acquired by NYSE Euronext on January 17, 2008, with the objective of integrating it with Alternext European and branding it as NYSE Alternext U.S. However, in March 2009 the newly formed NYSE Alternext U.S. was rebranded to its current identity of NYSE Amex Equities as part of NYSE Euronext.
The roots of the American Stock Exchange can be traced back to 1842 when government-issued securities were traded by stock brokers on the streets of New York. The AMEX was located at the Broad Street curbstone where, braving the elements, so-called ‘curb brokers’ shouted out their trade. Word soon got out that there was money to be made and trading picked up, with curb brokers having to resort to hand signals for trade to continue over the increasing noise level as investors clamored for attention. In 1921 this bustling trade was moved indoors at 86 Trinity Place, Manhattan – the building which NYSE Amex Equities occupies today. Interestingly this building is registered as a U.S. National Historic Landmark and appears on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Under the NYSE Euronext umbrella, membership for direct access to the NYSE Amex Equities must meet the criteria laid down by NYSE Euronext. It should be noted that while stated criteria must be met, doing so does not mean automatic approval, which is granted at the sole discretion of the exchange. Other factors which are taken into account include the nature of the applicant’s business, its regulatory and corporate governance history, market demand for its products, the reputation of its management (individually and collectively), pattern of growth, financial integrity and its current earning power and future outlook.
Part of the appeal of listing with NYSE Amex Equities is the fact that it is known to have the most liberal listing policies of the major American stock exchanges and trades small to mid-size stocks. Amex also specializes in ETF trading, with the majority of US listed ETFs (including SPDRs and PowerShares) being traded through it. Moreover, it produces a number of stock market indices, with the latest of these, known as Intellidexes, being weighted on fundamental factors.
At the end of 2007, Amex had 592 listed companies, accounting for a combined market capitalization of $258 billion. The NYSE Amex Equities normal trading sessions run from 9:30 am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday, with the exception of predetermined holidays.