A:

Similar to the school bells that most of us heard during our school days, the New York Stock Exchange's (NYSE) opening and closing bells mark the beginning and the end of each trading day. More specifically, the opening bell is rung at 9:30am EST to mark the start of the day's trading session. At 4pm the closing bell is rung and trading for the day stops. There are bells located in each of the four main sections of the NYSE that all ring at the same time once a button is pressed.

Interestingly enough, the signal to start and stop trading wasn't always a bell. The original signal was a gavel, but during the late 1800s, the NYSE decided to switch the gavel for a gong to signal the day's beginning and end. However, after the NYSE changed to its present location at 18 Broad Street in 1903, the gong was switched to the bell format that we see today.

A common sight today is the highly publicized events in which a celebrity or executive from a corporation stands behind the NYSE podium and pushes the button that signals the bells to ring. Many consider the act of ringing the bells to be quite an honor and a symbol of a lifetime of achievement. Furthermore, due to the amount of coverage that the opening/closing bells receive, many companies coordinate new product launches and other marketing-related events to start on the same day as when the company's representatives ring the bell. This daily tradition wasn't always this highly publicized either. In fact, it was only in 1995 that the NYSE began having special guests ring the bells on a regular basis. Prior to that, ringing the bells was usually the responsibility of the exchange's floor managers.

To learn more about stock exchanges , see The Tale Of Two Exchanges: NYSE And NASDAQ and Getting To Know Stock Exchanges

RELATED FAQS
  1. What does "after the bell" mean?

    "After the bell" is financial slang for activity occurring after the close of the stock market, including after-hours trading, ... Read Answer >>
  2. Why is the 1982 AT&T breakup considered one of the most successful spinoffs in history?

    AT&T had a history reaching back to 1885 and, as a government-supported monopoly, was a highly profitable company. Colloquially ... Read Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between marginal benefit and marginal cost?

    Understand the difference between marginal benefit and marginal cost. Learn how and why both marginal cost and marginal benefit ... Read Answer >>
  4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of listing on the Nasdaq versus other stock ...

    Discover some of the primary advantages and disadvantages that exist for companies listed on the Nasdaq exchange rather than ... Read Answer >>
  5. What is a baby bell?

    In 1982, AT&T agreed to settle the Justice Department's anti-trust action by breaking itself into seven Regional Bell Operating ... Read Answer >>
  6. Why is the Nasdaq more volatile than the NYSE?

    Learn about the stocks that are traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange, and discover the Nasdaq's relative volatility level ... Read Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Yum! Brands Accelerates Taco Bell’s Expansion

    Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM) recently revealed plans to expand its Taco Bell brand over the next six years. The company plans to have 8,000 stores in the U.S. by the end of 2022, compared to its ...
  2. Investing

    India's $4 iPhone (AAPL, F)

    Ringing Bells, an Indian startup, has come out with a $4 smartphone reminiscent – very reminiscent – of the iPhone. Too good to be true?
  3. Personal Finance

    How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

    The history and popular perception of engagement rings runs counter to the surprising correlation between ring cost and marriage success.
  4. Investing

    On This Day In Finance: June 3 - Alexander Graham Bell Creates Photophone

    On this day in 1880, Bell transmitted the first wireless telephone message.
  5. Managing Wealth

    How To Insure Your Wedding Ring

    Read on for everything you need to know to make sure this precious possession is covered against theft, damage, loss and more.
  6. Personal Finance

    4 Reasons Why You Should Consider Costco's Diamond Rings

    Costco's low prices on diamond rings is one thing, but finding the ring that you want is another story.
  7. Insights

    How The NYSE Makes Money

    We examine how the New York Stock Exchange, the leading US stock exchange, makes money.
  8. Investing

    Cincinnati Bell Names a New CEO

    A leadership transition has been announced by Cincinnati Bell (NYSE: CBB): The regional telecom said COO Leigh Fox will replaces the retiring Ted Torbeck as president and CEO, effective May ...
  9. Investing

    Stock Exchanges Around The World

    We tell you about five of the most popular stock exchanges from around the globe.
  10. Investing

    Four Alarm Bells Ring Loud Amid Trump Rally

    Rising volatility, soaring short interest, a falling dollar and the S&P 500's March slide pose a threat
RELATED TERMS
  1. Closing Bell

    A bell that rings to signify the end of a trading session. The ...
  2. Trading Session

    A period of time consisting of one day of business in a financial ...
  3. Baby Bells

    A common nickname given to the U.S. regional telephone companies ...
  4. New York Stock Exchange - NYSE

    A stock exchange based in New York City, which is considered ...
  5. Ring Trading

    The method by which certain types of investment business is conducted ...
  6. Rings

    The locations on the floors of futures and options exchanges ...
Hot Definitions
  1. Treasury Bill - T-Bill

    A short-term debt obligation backed by the U.S. government with a maturity of less than one year. T-bills are sold in denominations ...
  2. Index

    A statistical measure of change in an economy or a securities market. In the case of financial markets, an index is a hypothetical ...
  3. Return on Market Value of Equity - ROME

    Return on market value of equity (ROME) is a comparative measure typically used by analysts to identify companies that generate ...
  4. Majority Shareholder

    A person or entity that owns more than 50% of a company's outstanding shares. The majority shareholder is often the founder ...
  5. Competitive Advantage

    An advantage that a firm has over its competitors, allowing it to generate greater sales or margins and/or retain more customers ...
  6. Mutual Fund

    An investment vehicle that is made up of a pool of funds collected from many investors for the purpose of investing in securities ...
Trading Center