DEFINITION of 'Bell'
The musical instrument that is sounded to signify the beginning or end of the trading day on Wall Street. Similar to the checkered flag in auto racing, the bell is largely symbolic and is not a crucial component to the smooth operation of the Exchange. The closing bell on the NYSE was introduced in 1904, while the opening bell became a tradition in 1985.
BREAKING DOWN 'Bell'
With a growing number of securities being traded online, the ringing of the bell, as noted above, has become primarily a symbolic gesture. And, as such, it is often rung by celebrities and dignitaries as a means of commemorating a special or historic event. Recently Olympic champion snowboarder Shaun White, the band KISS and members of the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers have rung the closing bell.