May 11th, 2012
“Old soldiers never die,
They just fade away.”
Another old soldier, the American Stock Exchange (AMEX), is also heading into the sunset. This American icon, established in 1908 as The New York Curb Market Agency, and renamed several times, finally becoming the American Stock Exchange in 1953, started its swan song when it was merged into (sold to) the NASDAQ OMX in 1998. NASDAQ sold the AMEX business to the NYSE Euronext (New York Stock Exchange) in 2008. Click on picture for larger image of the AMEX building.
NYSE Euronext immediately integrated the AMEX exchange with the Alternext European small-cap exchange and renamed it NYSE Alternext U.S. The AMEX name was resuscitated in 2009 as the small-cap Alternext exchange was renamed NYSE Amex Securities. Perhaps there was a clue in the use of lower case letters in Amex, because it may be that the AMEX exchange has finally returned to its roots – kicked to the curb.
Note: The use of the word “curb” in the exchange name until 1953 derived from the nineteenth century practice of trading out on the street securities of firms too small to register on the New York Stock Exchange. Many future industry giants in oil, iron and steel, textiles, chemical and mining were initially traded in the physical street, or by the curbstone. And many fly-by-night and speculative issues which caused money of investors to evaporate were also traded out in the street.
The picture below shows stock trading in Broad Street about 1905. Click on picture for Gynormous view.
- NYSE Does Away With Most of Amex Brand (Tommy Fernandez, Securities Technology Monitor, 10 May 2012)
- American_Stock_Exchange (Wikipedia)