The New York Stock Exchange – NYSE

Full Name: New York Stock Exchange.

Short Name: NYSE.

Location: New York City.

Established: 1792.

Number of Companies Listed, 2010: Approximately 3,200.


The NYSE is the largest and most famous of the exchanges in the US.  Large, established firms, such as Coca-Cola and General Electric, are traded here.


Trading Method

The NYSE has a central trading floor where brokers complete their clients’ buy and sell orders.  There are 1,366 seats at the exchange.  Having a seat gives you the right to trade on the floor.  Large brokerage firms, investment banks, and other financial companies control these seats.

A number of stands are spread out on the trading floor. Each stand is responsible for the trade of a few different stocks. A broker who is interested in buying or selling a stock runs over to the appropriate stand and completes his transaction.

The people who run the stands are called specialists.  It is the specialist’s responsibility to maintain continuous trade on the stocks he is responsible for. Therefore, if he can’t find a buyer or seller for an offered trade, the specialist may be forced to buy or sell the stock himself. 

All trades are completed through an auction, with stocks sold to whoever can offer the highest price, and bought from whoever can offer the lowest one.


Getting Listed on the NYSE

A firm that wants to be traded at the NYSE needs to meet a few criteria. Amongst these criteria are:

  • The company must have at least 1.1 million outstanding shares.
  • The company must have a market cap of at least forty million dollars.

The NYSE’s Top 10

These are the ten companies on the NYSE with the biggest market cap in January 8, 2010

Corporation Ticker Market Cap 
(in billions of dollars)
January 8, 2010
1 Exxo Mobil Crop XOM 329
2 Petra Chaina PTR 237
3 BHP Billions BHP 222
4 Petrobars PBR 210
5 HSBC Holdings HBC 206
6 Wal -Mart WMT 203
7 Chaina Mobile CHL 191
8 Royal Dutch Shell RDS.A 190
9 BHP Billiton BBL 187
10 BP BP 186