What is the 'American Stock Exchange - AMEX'

The American Stock Exchange (AMEX) is the third-largest stock exchange by trading volume in the United States. In 2008, it was acquired by the NYSE Euronext and became the NYSE Amex Equities in 2009. The AMEX is located in New York City and handles about 10% of all securities traded in the United States.

The AMEX name was first changed to NYSE Alternext US, then it became known as NYSE Amex Equities. It used to be a strong competitor to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), but that role has since been filled by the Nasdaq. Today, almost all trading on the AMEX is in small-cap stocks, exchange-traded funds and derivatives.

BREAKING DOWN 'American Stock Exchange - AMEX'

The American Stock Exchange has roots all the way back to the late 18th century. With the investment trading market still in its infancy, brokers gathered at coffeehouses and on the street to exchange securities.

The Curbstone Brokers

Traders in the streets became known as curbstone broker and specialized in trading the stocks of small and emerging companies. Many newly created businesses focused on industries such as railroads, oil and textiles often traded first through the curbstone brokers. In the 19th century, curbside trading was largely disorganized. In 1908, the New York Curb Market Agency was established to create a framework of rules and regulations surrounding trading practices.

The New York Curb Exchange

In 1929, the New York Curb Market became the New York Curb Exchange. It adopted an additional set of rules and standards to govern its practices and expanded its trading floor to accommodate the additional volume. In the 1950s, a growing number of new and emerging businesses traded their stocks on the New York Curb Exchange as the value of listed companies jumped from $12 billion in 1950 to $23 billion in 1960.

Milestones of the American Stock Exchange

In 1953, the New York Curb Exchange officially changed its name to the American Stock Exchange. It became known as an exchange where new products were developed and traded. In 1975, the AMEX launched its options market and began delivering educational materials discussing the risks and rewards of this new product. In 1993, the American Stock Exchange introduced the first ever exchange-traded fund (ETF), the Standard & Poor's Depository Receipts (SPDR) focused on investing in the Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500 Index. In 2008, the AMEX joined the NYSE family of exchanges and enhanced its position in trading equities, options, ETFs and closed-end funds.

RELATED TERMS
  1. NYSE Amex Composite Index

    The NYSE Amex Composite Index is an index of stocks that represent ...
  2. New York Stock Exchange - NYSE

    The New York Stock Exchange, located in New York City, is considered ...
  3. Big Board

    Big Board is a nickname for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
  4. Stock Market

    The stock market consists of the exchanges or OTC markets in ...
  5. Exchange

    An exchange is a marketplace in which securities, commodities, ...
  6. Regional Stock Exchange

    A regional stock exchange is a place outside of a country's primary ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    AmEx Delivers Revenue and Earnings Beats for Q1

    In line with some of its brethren in the large-cap financials space, American Express (NYSE: AXP) reported on a first quarter that exceeded projections for revenue and profitability. For the ...
  2. Insights

    The Birth of Stock Exchanges

    Learn about the evolution of stock exchanges, from the Venetian states to the British coffeehouses, and finally to the NYSE.
  3. Insights

    The NYSE and Nasdaq: How They Work

    Learn some of the important differences in the way these exchanges operate and the securities that trade on them.
  4. Investing

    Stock Exchanges Around The World

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

    Credit Card Review: Premier Rewards Gold Amex (AXP)

    Read more about the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card, one of the top charge cards in the United States and a favorite among frequent flyers.
  6. Financial Advisor

    Airlines May Enter a New Bear Market in 2016

    Despite savings from record low oil prices, airlines lost substantial ground in 2015. Is the airline industry entering a bear market in 2016?
  7. Insights

    How The NYSE Makes Money

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

    AXP: How American Express' Stock Price Fell 11% in 6 Months

    American Express's stock price has taken investors on an up-and-down ride in the first half of 2016, but the overall trend is up since a February 2016 low.
  9. Insights

    Closing Down The NYSE: What Does It Take?

    The New York Stock Exchange has shut its doors multiple times in its long and storied history. We’ll look at when and why the NYSE in this article.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are all of the securities markets in the U.S.A?

    Learn about the major and somewhat lesser-known U.S. financial securities markets. Read Answer >>
  2. 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 >>
  3. Move from an OTC to a major exchange

    In order to move a company from over-the-counter market to a major exchange, a number of conditions must be met to being ... Read Answer >>
  4. Where does the name "Wall Street" come from?

    Learn the history "Wall Street," a name now synonymous with the US financial markets. Read Answer >>
  5. What does it mean when my broker says that shares are for auction?

    An auction market is one in which stock buyers enter competitive bids and stock sellers enter competitive offers at the same ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Portfolio

    A portfolio is a grouping of financial assets such as stocks, bonds and cash equivalents, also their mutual, exchange-traded ...
  2. Gross Profit

    Gross profit is the profit a company makes after deducting the costs of making and selling its products, or the costs of ...
  3. Diversification

    Diversification is the strategy of investing in a variety of securities in order to lower the risk involved with putting ...
  4. Intrinsic Value

    Intrinsic value is the perceived or calculated value of a company, including tangible and intangible factors, and may differ ...
  5. Current Assets

    Current assets is a balance sheet item that represents the value of all assets that can reasonably expected to be converted ...
  6. Volatility

    Volatility measures how much the price of a security, derivative, or index fluctuates.
Trading Center