Big Board

Definition

The oldest and largest stock exchange in the U.S., located on Wall Street in New York City. The Big Board is responsible for setting policy, supervising member activities, listing securities, overseeing the transfer of member seats, and evaluating applicants. It traces its origins back to 1792, when a group of brokers met under a tree at the tip of Manhattan and signed an agreement to trade securities. Unlike some of the newer exchanges, the Big Board still uses a large trading floor in order to conduct its transactions. It is here that the representatives of buyers and sellers, professionals known as brokers, meet and shout out prices at one another in order to strike a deal. This is called the open outcry system and it usually produces fair market pricing. In order to facilitate the exchange of stocks, the Big Board employs individuals called specialists who are assigned to manage the buying and selling of specific stocks and to buy those stocks when no one else will. Of the exchanges, the Big Board has the most stringent set of requirements in place for the companies whose stocks it lists, and even meeting these requirements is not a guarantee that the Big Board will list the company. also called New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
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AMEX American Stock Exchange