Where does the name "Wall Street" come from?

By Investopedia Staff AAA
A:

As with many of the famous streets and roads in the world, Wall Street's origins have historical significance. Its name is a direct reference to a wall that was erected by Dutch settlers on the southern tip of Manhattan Island in the 17th century. During this time, a war between the English and Dutch threatened to spill over onto the island's American colonies. So the Dutch, located at the southernmost part of the island, decided to erect a defensive wall. Although this wall was never used for its intended purpose, years after its removal it left a legacy behind in the name Wall Street.

This area didn't become famous for being America's financial center until the end of the 18th century, when 24 of the United States' first and most prominent brokers signed an agreement that outlined the common commission-based form of trading securities. Occurring under a "Buttonwood" tree, this marked the beginnings of the investment community of Wall Street and the creation of the New York Stock Exchange. Since then, "Wall Street" has come to denote much more than a street: it now represents the stock market and all its associated financial institutions.

To read more about the beginnings of Wall Street, see The Stock Market: A Look Back.

RELATED FAQS

  1. If a long call is owned on the record date of a stock, is the owner of the option ...

    Learn how holding a long call option does not entitle the holder to a dividend on the underlying stock unless the call is ...
  2. How can an investor profit from the cyclical nature of the electronics sector?

    Learn how sector rotation and clever options strategies, such as the long straddle, help investors profit from the cyclical ...
  3. What does negative vega mean for credit spreads?

    Learn about the option Greek vega, credit spreads and how vega affects the values of option credit spreads when volatility ...
  4. What options strategies are best suited for investing in the banking sector?

    Learn how shrewd investors employ the covered call options strategy to capitalize on the banking sector's reputation for ...
RELATED TERMS
  1. Exchange Traded Derivative

    A financial instrument whose value is based on the value of another ...
  2. Catastrophe Equity Put (CatEPut)

    Catastrophe equity puts are used to ensure that insurance companies ...
  3. Open Trade Equity (OTE)

    Open trade equity (OTE) is the equity in an open futures contract.
  4. Market Value

    The price an asset would fetch in the marketplace. Market value ...
  5. Lean Enterprise

    A production and management philosophy that considers any part ...
  6. Bulldog Market

    A nickname for the foreign bond market of the United Kingdom. ...

You May Also Like

Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    Why Is Best Buy Stock So Volatile?

  2. Trading Strategies

    A Guide Of Option Trading Strategies ...

  3. Fundamental Analysis

    What are some examples of Cash Flow ...

  4. Options & Futures

    Options and Roth IRAs: Do's and Don'ts

  5. Options & Futures

    Trade Covered Calls On High Dividend ...

Trading Center