What Is the Philadelphia Stock Exchange (PHLX)

The Philadelphia Stock Exchange was the first U.S. securities exchange, formed in 1790. However, it now focuses on equity, currency and index options.

Understanding the Philadelphia Stock Exchange (PHLX)

Originally known as the Board of Brokers, the PHLX was the first formal securities exchange in the U.S. and pre-dates its much larger cousin, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), by two years. It was also one of the first exchanges to embrace electronic trading, when, in 1975, it introduced a stock order routing and execution system called PACE (Philadelphia Automated Communication and Execution system). This system linked computers and allowed for instant electronic order execution. 

In 1982, the PHLX offered currency options and within six years they traded as much as $4 billion per day in underlying value.

In 2004, the exchange became the first floor-based stock exchange to transform from that of a seat-based, cooperative to a share-based for-profit company.

In 2008, the Nasdaq OMX Group bought the PHLX and changed the stock exchange's name to the Nasdaq OMX PHLX and its focus to options. It currently trades in more than 2600 U.S. dollar-settled options, sector index options, and equity options. Also, it is currently the third-largest options market in the United States with a 17% share.

Home of Popular Indexes

The PHLX maintains an extensive library of sector indexes, including the very widely followed PHLX KBW Bank Index (BKX), the PHLX Gold/ Silver Sector Index (XAU) and the PHLX Semiconductor Sector Index (SOX). While investors cannot buy and sell these, and the dozens of other indexes tracked at the exchange, they can trade them via options.

The exchange calculates and disseminates intraday pricing information on the following sector indexes, listed by name and ticker symbol. These symbols also serve as the root symbols for their respective options.

  •    PHLX KBW Bank Index (BKX)
  •    PHLX KBW Insurance Index (KIX)
  •    PHLX KBW Mortgage Finance Index (MFX)
  •    PHLX KBW Regional Banking Index (KRX)
  •    PHLX Chemical Sector Index (XCM)
  •    PHLX Defense Sector Index (DFX)
  •    PHLX Drug Sector Index (RXS)
  •    PHLX Europe Sector Index (XEX)
  •    PHLX Gold/Silver Sector Index (XAU)
  •    PHLX Housing Sector Index (HGX)
  •    PHLX Marine Shipping Sector Index (SHX)
  •    PHLX Medical Device Sector Index (MXZ)
  •    PHLX Oil Service Sector Index (OSX)
  •    PHLX Retail Sector Index (XRE)
  •    PHLX Semiconductor Sector Index (SOX)
  •    PHLX Sports Sector Index (SXP)
  •    PHLX Utility Sector Index (UTY)
  •    SIG Gaming Index (SGV)
  •    SIG KCI Coal Index (SCP)
  •    SIG Oil Exploration & Production Index (EPX)
  •    SIG Railroad Index (SRW)
  •    SIG Steel Producers Index (STQ)