American Stock Exchange

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NYSE Amex Equities, formerly known as the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) is an American stock exchange situated in New York. AMEX was a mutual organization, owned by its members. Until 1953, it was known as the New York Curb Exchange.[4] On January 17, 2008, NYSE Euronext announced it would acquire the American Stock Exchange for $260 million in stock. On October 1, 2008, NYSE Euronext completed acquisition of the American Stock Exchange.[5] Before the closing of the acquisition, NYSE Euronext announced that the Exchange would be integrated with the Alternext European small-cap exchange and renamed the NYSE Alternext U.S.[6] In March 2009, NYSE Alternext U.S. was changed to NYSE Amex Equities.[7]



In the early nineteenth century, many new enterprises sprang up in the railroad and construction industries. The New York Exchange Board had then mandated an organization to have a minimum of 100 stocks in order to trade in their exchange. Many of these new companies could not meet such requirements to be listed on the Board. A group of non-member brokers catered to the needs of these companies as they traded their stocks outside the registered exchanges. These brokers came to be known as the curbstone brokers, as they conducted their auctions out in the street.

These brokers often traded stocks that were speculative in nature. With the discovery of oil in the later half of nineteenth century, even oil stocks entered into the curb market. By 1865, following the Civil War, stocks in small industrial companies, such as iron and steel, textiles and chemicals were first sold by curbstone brokers. Efforts to organize and standardize the market started early in the twentieth century under Emanuel S. Mendels. In 1908, the New York Curb Market Agency was established, to codify trading practices. In 1911, the curbstone brokers came to be known as the New York Curb Market, which then had a formal constitution with brokerage and listing standards. After several years of outdoor trading, the curbstone brokers moved indoors in 1921 to a building on Greenwich Street in Lower Manhattan. In 1929, the New York Curb Market changed its name to the New York Curb Exchange. Within no time, the Curb Exchange became the leading international stock market, listing more foreign issues than all other U.S. securities markets combined. In 1953 the Curb Exchange was renamed the American Stock Exchange.

Paul Kolton was named as president of the exchange in 1971, making him the first person to be selected from within the exchange to serve as its leader, succeeding Ralph S. Saul, who announced his resignation in March 1971.[8][9] In November 1972 Kolton was named as the exchange's first CEO and the first salaried top executive of the exchange.[10] Kolton opposed the idea of a merger with the Big Board while he headed the exchange saying that "two independent, viable exchanges are much more likely to be responsive to new pressures and public needs than a single institution".[9] Kolton announced in July 1977 that he would be leaving his position at the American Exchange in November of that year.[11]

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