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The American Stock Exchange (or AMEX in its abbreviated form) was an independent United States stock exchange and once the third largest exchange in the US by trading volume; however on January 17, 2008 it was acquired by one of its rivals, the New York Stock Exchange and rebranded as the NYSE Alternext US, operating alongside the Alternext Europe, which deals with small cap companies and the equity trading market. Traditionally the AMEX dealt with mostly small cap stock, derivatives and exchange traded funds, and made up about 10% of the securities market in the United States.
Historically the American Stock Exchange started out as a “curb exchange” where trades would literally happen out by the street, but by 1921 it had outgrew this method and was moved from the corner of Broad Street to 86 Trinity Place in Manhattan, where it still operates in its modern form today.
In 1998 the AMEX merged with the NASDAQ group, but continued to operate as a separate entity; however by this time it had gotten a reputation for allowing trading scandals and penny stock scam artists and was significantly lower on the totem pole compared to the main NASDAQ and the NYSE.
Today under its new identity the AMEX has around 592 companies listed on its exchange and bring in a total market capitalization of $258 billion, as of 2007 data. Trading house for the exchange run from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, although it doesn’t operate on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays), or on several pre-announced holiday periods.
The AMEX produces several indexes, including the Index of Stocks of Internet Companies, and its newer Intellidexes system, the prior which is published in the weekly magazine Inter@ctive Week and online.
Since 1978 the AMEX’s art deco building has been listed as a National Historical Landmark.
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