What is a 'Little Board'

Little Board is a slang term primarily referring to the former American Stock Exchange (AMEX). It can also describe any exchange that is not the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Little Board originally referred to the New York Consolidated Stock and Petroleum Exchange.

BREAKING DOWN 'Little Board'

Little Board is the antithesis of the Big Board, the term used to describe the NYSE. In the early 20th Century Little Board applied mainly to the Curb Market, the precursor to AMEX. At that time, brokers trading small-cap stocks gathered on the street to exchange securities not traded on the floor of the large New York Exchange. Some traders worked along the curb near the NYSE at Broad and Exchange Streets, hence the name.

The New York Curb Market opened its own trading floor on Trinity Place in 1921, and changed its name to the New York Curb Exchange in 1929. In part to distinguish it from the New York Stock Exchange, the market changed its name to the American Stock Exchange in 1953. By 1960 the AMEX encompassed $23 billion of listed stocks. In 1975, the AMEX launched its options market. In 1993, it introduced the first ever exchange-traded fund (ETF) and the Standard & Poor's Depository Receipts (SPDR), focused on investing in the Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500 Index. In 1998, it merged with the market of the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ), the first fully automated exchange.

Little Big Board?

At one point, the Little Board grew to be fairly large. Near the turn of the millennium, it posed a serious competitive threat to the NYSE, which had lagged in the trading of new financial products like ETFs and options, as well as the stocks of burgeoning computer and technology companies. Indeed, companies like Microsoft and Apple first went public on the NASDAQ exchange.

NASDAQ spun off from AMEX in 2000 and 2001, but in 2008 the NYSE parent company, then known as NYSE Euronext, bought the original AMEX exchange for $260 million in stock. The AMEX's name and branding went through several iterations. It's now known as NYSE MKT. It is still known mostly for trading in small-cap stocks, options, ETFs and closed-end funds.

Mergers Mean Fewer Boards

With consolidation and the growth in electronic trading, many of the old physical trading floors, and thus the terms Little Board and Big Board no longer apply. In 2012, the original AMEX Little Board trading floor at 86 Trinity Place closed down; the exchange now trades on the NYSE floor on 11 Wall Street.

RELATED TERMS
  1. American Stock Exchange - AMEX

    The American Stock Exchange, now known as the NYSE Amex Equities, ...
  2. NYSE Amex Equities

    NYSE Amex Equities is an American stock exchange best known for ...
  3. NYSE Amex Composite Index

    The NYSE Amex Composite Index is an index of stocks that represent ...
  4. Big Board

    Big Board is a nickname for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
  5. Speculation Index

    The speculation index has historically been the ratio of trading ...
  6. Trading Floor

    Trading floor refers to an area of an exchange where trading ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Stock Exchanges Around The World

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

    Who Owns The Stock Exchanges?

    As M&A heats up among the exchanges, here's how the market currently looks.
  3. Insights

    Getting to Know the Stock Exchanges

    Here are the answers to all the questions you have about stock exchanges but are too afraid to ask.
  4. Investing

    Why Companies Change Exchanges

    Companies don't elect to leave an exchange so much as they're asked. Find out why.
  5. 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.
  6. Investing

    Evaluating the Board of Directors

    Learn how evaluating the board of directors corporate structure can tell you a lot about a company's potential.
  7. Personal Finance

    American Express Cards: Centurion Vs. Platinum (AXP)

    If you're offered a coveted black card from Amex, should you accept it?
  8. Managing Wealth

    How To Become A Corporate Board Member

    We look at how corporate boards are constructed, and how investors can get involved.
  9. Investing

    ETF Wars: NYSE Under Siege

    The NYSE dominates 92% of the $2.3 trillion ETF market, but rivals are closing in
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are the differences between AMEX and Nasdaq?

    While similar in purpose, the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) and the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between the bond market and the stock market?

    The bond market is where investors go to trade debt securities, while the stock market is where investors trade equity securities ... Read Answer >>
  3. 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 >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. 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 >>
  6. Where does the name "Wall Street" come from?

    Learn the history "Wall Street," a name now synonymous with the US financial markets. Read Answer >>
Trading Center