Profile America: NY Stock Exchange Is 225 Years Old

A screen above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. CNBC

A screen above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. CNBC

Thursday, May 18 — The New York Stock Exchange, by signaling business prospects through share prices, has long been a bellwether of the nation’s economic health. The exchange started this month in 1792, as some two dozen merchants and brokers established an organized approach to their buying and selling. In good weather, they operated under a Buttonwood tree on Wall Street. Otherwise, they moved to the shelter of a nearby coffeehouse to continue their trading. Over the past 225 years, this makeshift setup evolved into a financial titan, where each trading session is a real time economic indicator.

Thirty-three years ago, only 7 percent of U.S. household wealth was held in stocks and bonds. More recently, that figure is around 20 percent.

You can find current data on the country’s economy by downloading the ‘America’s Economy‘ mobile application here.

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