Insider Hint: Understanding the Exchange

by David Jenyns on October 2, 2009

Physically, the trading arena of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is a huge, cavernous, high-ceilinged room, in which activity centers around 18 horseshoe-shaped trading posts. About 75 stocks are bought and sold around each post.

International Business Machines, Firestone Tire and Rubber, and American Smelting are at Post 11, U. S. Steel, Detroit Edison and Libbey-Owens-Ford at Post 2, Standard Oil (N.J.) Kaiser Aluminum, and Dow Chemical at Post 9.

All New York Stock Exchange transactions are carried on the tape, and assumed to be 100-share trades unless otherwise noted. KN 94 means 100 shares of Kennecott Copper were sold at 94. GM 54 … 2S1\u8260?2means that 100 shares of General Motors were sold at 54, and immediately afterward 200 shares were sold at 541\u8260?2. Buy and sell orders come in to the clerks for execution by the firm’s member (or members) on the floor.

High above the floor in each corner of the New York Stock Exchange, the ticker tape is projected. Across two walls is a bond tape.

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