The New York Stock Exchange is the largest stock market in the world. Approximately 2,300 companies belong to this market in which over 6 billion shares of stock are traded every day. In 1792, the NYSE was formed on Wall Street, in New York City, as an all-day auction for stocks. Stocks are shares or partnerships in a business or a company. The company sells the stock to gain capital on which to operate. The purchasers of the stock become part owners of the company and receive money when the stock price rises. A stock market is a place where stock can be traded, bought, or sold. The former chairman and CEO of the NYSE explains how the stock market works. Brokers and specialists buy and sell stocks for individuals, their companies, and the businesses that are members of the exchange. The New York Stock Exchange is a part of the American free enterprise system, and is expanding to cooperate with international stock exchanges.
The investment professionals who work on the floor of the NYSE receive commissions from the people for whom they work, on the money they invest for them. An independent broker is not part of any major brokerage company. A house broker works for one of the major brokerage companies and represents the clients of that company. A specialist is an agent who represents the companies that are members of the exchange and executes orders for these companies. A governor helps control the market by preventing reaction to new events, overselling, and misinformation.