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.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the history behind the opening and closing bells on the NYSE?

    Similar to the school bells that most of us heard during our school days, the New York Stock Exchange's (NYSE) opening and ... Read Answer >>
  2. 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 >>
  3. 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 >>
  4. Why don't stocks begin trading at the previous day's closing price?

    Most stock exchanges work according to the forces of supply and demand, which determine the prices at which stocks are bought ... Read Answer >>
  5. Do hedge funds have ticker symbols?

    Discover whether or not hedge funds have ticker symbols, where you can find ticker symbols and the significance of a ticker ... Read Answer >>
  6. 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 >>
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