On this day 24 brokers gathered under the branches of a buttonwood (sycamore) tree on Wall Street and signed an agreement regulating their business. This day is considered the birth of the New York Stock Exchange, today by far the largest in the world both by the volume of trade and total market capitalization (the total value of shares of all listed companies). The New York Stock Exchange (known by the abbreviation NYSE) surpassed its competition after the merger with the European electronic stock exchange Euronext in 2007, which formed the world’s first global stock exchange.
It is estimated that all companies listed on the NYSE-Euronext put together are worth about 14,000 billion dollars. This puts it well ahead of the next largest stock exchange in the world – NASDAQ OMX, the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Shanghai Stock Exchange. According to the agreement signed on this day in 1792, the brokers on Wall Street vouched to trade only among themselves and that all commissions would be only 0.25%. The first New York Stock Exchange headquarters was at 40 Wall Street, in a room they rented for $200 a month. Brokers also met in a nearby cafe Tontine, where they negotiated business (slave trading was also done in that cafe). Later, the stock exchange moved into the nearby building at the corner of Wall Street and Broad Street, where it still remains today.