Trading on NYSEThe New York Stock Exchange is arguably the most well known exchange in the world. It was founded over 200 years ago, in 1792, with the signing of the Buttonwood Agreement by 24 stockbrokers and merchants. The biggest companies in the world are listed on the NYSE, such as Coca-Cola, General Electric, and Wal-Mart.

The NYSE is a physical exchange, where the trading takes place face to face. Whenever you hear the term listed exchange? it refers to the NYSE. The order process is facilitated by exchange members and floor brokers who place trades at the specific location where a stock is traded, also known as a trading post, using a simple auction method, whereby the current price is the highest price any buyer is willing to pay, combined with the lowest price any seller is willing to sell for (this is called the bid and ask). Stocks are quoted by either the last sale price, or the bid and ask.

For example, a stock with a last sale price of 24.50, which is currently trading with a highest bid of 24.45 and with a lowest offer of 24.55 can be quoted as either "4.50"or "4.45 by 24.55"

A person known as the specialist controls all the orders in the stock by matching buyers with sellers. All of this can be done by hand, but computers are utilized extensively to automate the trading process.

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