Stock Market Trivia

 

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Welcome to the Stock Market Trivia web site, the site with lots of interesting and unusual trivia and facts about the stock market, Wall Street, the stock exchange and investments, including antique stock certificates and scripophily.

 

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We add stock market trivia to these pages and update investment trivia to this site periodically so check back with us regularly. Want to know what stock had a boulder as its principal asset? Want to know what stock had the symbol GRRR and why? Want to know if a stock really traded over $1 million per share? Want to know what railroad stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange had no employees? Scroll down and find out. Some of the most fascinating trivia revolves around stocks, bonds, the stock markets, stock exchanges, Wall Street, scripophily, mutual funds and other investments.

 

 

 

The Beginnings

What is the history of stocks?

Trying to define when stock and bond trading began depends on how you define a stock. A stock is considered to be a share of ownership in a company that can be bought, sold or traded. A bond is a loan to a company that can be bought, sold or traded.
Trading of shares of ownership may have begun as early as 9000 BC to 8000 BC, at which time tokens, which were made out of clay, were used for accounting and financial purposes. Unfortunately, writing hadn't been invented at that time, so there is no way to confirm whether or not 'shares' of ownership existed.


Later, around 4000 BC to 3000 BC, an item called a bulla (plural: bullae or bullas) came into use. This was like a clay purse that contained accounting tokens, and was completely sealed. These often had seals imprinted on them, and eventually had notations written on them designating how many tokens were inside and what they represented. For example, they may have represented a certain number of sheep. These inscriptions on the outside of the bullae led to what is called cuneiform, considered to be the earliest form of writing.


From around 2500 BC to 1800 BC, cuneiform came into use extensively, especially for financial transactions. Cuneiform is the writing on clay tablets, with a reed used as a stylus. During this period in Mesopotamia, there was a substantial amount of economic activity: agriculture, crafts, ranching, trading, etc. The first documented bond transactions have been documented by cuneiform, where silver has been lent out to a business, and that loan has been transferred to another individual. In addition, the earliest stock or share transactions have also been documented in cuneiform, for funding maritime trade expeditions.
According to some sources, stock exchanges originally came about from trading in agricultural and other commodities during the Middle Ages at what were called Euro-Fairs. Credit was commonly given, and therefore supporting documents were created such as drafts, notes, and bills of exchange. These were the precursors to modern stock and bond certificates. During the seventeenth century, certificates of ownership of businesses came into existence. These businesses were primarily involved in trade with the East Indies.

What were the five oldest stock exchanges worldwide?

Antwerp Bourse 1460
Lyons Bourse 1506
Toulouse Bourse 1549
Hamburg Bourse 1558
London Royal Exchange 1571

What were the three oldest stock exchanges in the US?

Philadelphia Stock Exchange 1790
New York Stock Exchange 1792
Boston Stock Exchange 1834

What were the three oldest commodities exchanges in the US?

Chicago Board of Trade 1848
Kansas City Board of Trade 1856
New York Cotton Exchange 1870

What were the first publicly traded securities in the U.S.?

$80 million in U.S. Government bonds that were issued in 1790 to refinance Revolutionary War debt.

When where the beginnings of the New York Stock Exchange established and what was the name of the founding document?

In 1792, the Buttonwood Agreement, signed by twenty-four brokers and merchants on Wall Street, agreeing to trade securities on a common commission basis.

What was the first listed company on the New York Stock Exchange?

Bank of New York, which was the first corporate stock traded under the Buttonwood tree in 1792, and the first listed company on the NYSE.

Who were the 24 brokers who signed the "Buttonwood Agreement" on May 17, 1792, and became the first New York Stock Exchange members? Leonard Bleecker , Hugh Smith , Armstrong & Barnewall , Samuel March , Bernard Hart , Alexander Zuntz , Andrew D. Barclay , Sutton & Hardy , Benjamin Seixas , John Henry , John A. Hardenbrook , Samuel Beebe , Benjamin Winthrop , John Ferrers , Ephraim Hart , Isaac M. Gomez , Gulian McEvers , Augustine H. Lawrence , G. N. Bleecker , John Bush , Peter Anspach , Charles McEvers, Jr. , David Reedy , Robinson & Hartshorne

 

Women & Minorities

Who was the first African American member of the NYSE?

Joseph L. Searles III, who became a member on February 12, 1970

Who was the first female member of the NYSE?

Muriel Siebert, who became a member on December 28, 1967

Who was the first woman member who worked on the trading floor on a regular basis of the NYSE?

Alice Jarcho, became a member on Oct. 14, 1976, began working on the trading floor on October 28, 1976

What was the first African American owned NYSE member firm?

Daniels & Bell Inc., in 1971

 

Highs & Lows

Highest price paid for a seat (membership) on the NYSE?

$2,650,000 on August 23, 1999

Lowest price paid for a seat (membership) on the NYSE?

$4,000 in 1876 and 1878

Lowest price paid for a seat (membership) on any major stock exchange?

25 cents in 1979 for the Pacific Stock Exchange; another seat traded shortly thereafter for 75 cents.

What was the highest volume day on the NYSE?

January 4, 2001, when 2,129,445,637 shares traded.

What was the lowest volume day on the NYSE?

March 16, 1830, when only 31 shares traded.

What was the highest that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has closed at?

It closed at 11497.12 on December 31, 1999.

 

Longevity

What has been the longest-listed company on the NYSE?

Con Edison, which was listed in 1824 as the New York Gas Light Company

What was the oldest company that was listed on the NYSE?

Bowne & Company, Inc. It was founded 1775 but it wasn't listed until 1999.

What New York Stock Exchange Member has the longest service membership?

David Granger, who has been a member since 1926, for 76 years.

 

Milestones

When did the Dow Jones Industrial Average first close over 100?

January 12, 1906, when it closed at 100.25

When did the Dow Jones Industrial Average first close over 1,000?

November 14, 1972, when it closed at 1,003.16

When did the Dow Jones Industrial Average first close over 10,000?

March 29, 1999, when it closed at 10006.78

When did stock share trading volume for the NYSE first go over 1 million?

1886

When did stock share trading volume for the NYSE first go over 10 million?

1929

When did stock share trading volume for the NYSE first go over 100 million?

1982

When did stock share trading volume for the NYSE first go over 1 billion?

1997

 

Firsts

When were the first stock tickers and ticker tapes used?

1867

What was the first firm that was a member of the NYSE that became listed on the NYSE?

Merrill Lynch, which became listed on July 27, 1971.

 

Miscellaneous Trivia

What New York Stock Exchange stock, back in 1989, had no employees?

Wabash Railroad, which had as its principal asset 1700 miles of railroad track, but no trains. It owned the track from Buffalo to Omaha, that it leased out. Their preferred stock traded on the NYSE.

What was the highest share price?

Yahoo! Japan. According to a representative for Shareholder Relations for the Yahoo! Japan company, the highest price of the stock was 167.9 million Japanese Yen on Feb. 22, 2000. If you exchange the above JPY into USD at the exchange rate at that time (Approx USD1=JPY111.01), it was approximately $1,512,500 per share.

What is the highest priced share on the New York Stock Exchange?

Berkshire Hathaway (Class A shares), which closed at

¬∑  $71,000 at the end of 2000

¬∑  $75,600 at the end of 2001

¬∑  $72,750 at the end of 2002

¬∑  $84,250 at the end of 2003

¬∑  $87,900 at the end of 2004

¬∑  $88,620 at the end of 2005.
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A), Warren Buffett's company, currently sells for over $170,000 a share.

What is the highest priced share on the American Stock Exchange?

Seaboard Corp. (SEB), which closed at

¬∑  $156 at the end of 2000

¬∑  $306 at the end of 2001

¬∑  $242 at the end of 2002

¬∑  $282 at the end of 2003

¬∑  $998 at the end of 2004

¬∑  $1511 at the end of 2005.

What was the highest priced share traded on NASDAQ?

Grey Global Group (GREY) traded over $1000 per share in October of 2004. Previously it closed at

¬∑  $650 at the end of 2000

¬∑  $667 at the end of 2001

¬∑  $611 at the end of 2002

¬∑  $683 at the end of 2003

¬∑  $1005 in 2004

¬∑  Merged with WPP.
Currently, the highest priced shares on NASDAQ is

Google (GOOG)

¬∑  $192.79 at the end of 2004

¬∑  $414.86 at the end of 2005.

What is the highest priced share traded over the counter?

There are a number of high priced shares that rarely trade. One of the stocks which does trade regularly is First National Bank of Alaska (FBAK) which closed at

¬∑  $875 at the end of 2000

¬∑  $1,175 at the end of 2001

¬∑  $1,380 at the end of 2002

¬∑  $2,235 at the end of 2003

¬∑  $2400 at the end of 2004

¬∑  $2215 at the end of 2005.

Another high priced over-the-counter share is Sunwest Bank (SWBC) which closed at

¬∑  $61.99 at the end of 2002

¬∑  $90.49 at the end of 2003

¬∑  $2877.00 at the end of 2004 (after 1 for 30 reverse split)

¬∑  $3500.00 at the end of 2005.

What stock had a boulder as its principal asset during the early and mid-1980 s?

Natural Bridge of Virginia, which owned the arched boulder that supports Route 11. They had about 162,000 shares outstanding.

What stock has CASH for its symbol?

Meta Financial Group

What stock has BABY for its symbol?

Natus Medical, Inc.

What stock had GRRR for its stock symbol?

Lion Country Safari

What stock has the symbol BOOT?

Lacrosse Footware Inc.

What was the original name of the American Stock Exchange and why?

The Curb, because it was originally started by traders on the streets of New York City standing on and by the curb.

What publicly traded stock during the 1970 s and 1980 s had as its major asset 60 million cubic feet of rock?

Indiana Limestone, which had 551,000 shares outstanding in 1983, and traded as high as 17 and as low as 10, that year.

Was there really a stock exchange in Hawaii?
Yes, the Honolulu Stock Exchange operated from 1910 to 1976.


What was the highest denomination for any stock certificate worldwide?

5 billion marks (5,000,000,000) par value for the German company Croning-Schloss AG in 1923.

What was the smallest US bond in physical size?

The State of Louisiana 'Baby Bond' Certificate, called a Baby Bond for three reasons: Its small denomination of $5 (making this the lowest denomination US municipal bond also), its small size of about 3 inches by 5 inches, and its vignette of a baby wearing a hat.

The following three items are from Terry Cox, Railroad stock certificate expert.

What was the highest denomination for a U. S. railroad bond?

$42,110,000 for the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad (Rail Road) Co. Bond, 100-yr, 4.5%, registered gold, dated 1913, due 2013, 'Series A,' , refunding & improvement issue.

What was the lowest denomination for a railroad bond?

$2 for the Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Mexico (Mexico) Bond, 3-yr, 6%, gold note, 1914, due 1917, denominated in gold US dollars, Mexican gold pesos (4 Pesos), pounds and Reich marks, Series B.

 

What was the largest physical size of a bond on one piece of paper?

New York Cable Railway, which measures approximately 2 feet by 3 feet including coupons, $1000 denomination dated 1884.

 

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Stock Market Trivia

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Stock Market & Investment Glossary, Word Definitions and Dictionary

Accrued Interest

Interest that has built up between interest payments on a bond.

Agency Bonds

Municipal bonds that are issued by agencies of the US Government such as FNMA.

Annual Report

The report that is issued once a year by a corporation to its shareholders.

Asked Price

The price at which a stock or bond can be bought at when placing an order at the market.

At The Market

An order that is placed to buy at whatever the going asked price is or sell at whatever the going bid price is.

Basis Point

One hundredths of a percent.

Bear

Someone who thinks the stock market will drop.

Bearer Bonds

Bonds which are not registered to any individual, but are owned by the person who holds the bonds.

Bid Price

The price at which a stock or bond can be sold at when placing an order at the market.

Block Trade

A large trade of shares, generally between institutions.

Blue Sheets

The formerly published pages printed on blue paper, showing the market makers, and bid and asked prices of municipal bonds.

Blue Sky Laws

Security laws of the state.

Bond

A loan by an investor to a corporation or governmental entity, which can be bought and sold.

Book Entry

A computer registration of ownership of a stock or bond.

Book Value

The assets of a corporation minus the liabilities, divided by the number of shares.

Broker

An individual or brokerage firm that buys and sells investments for their customers.

Broker Dealer

A company that provides investment services and is registered with the NASD.

Bull

Someone who thinks the stock market will increase in value

Call

An investment which allows the right to buy a stock at a particular price within a certain amount of time.

Call Date

The date at which a bond can be redeemed by the issuer prior to maturity.

Call Schedule

The listing of dates and amounts at which a bond can be called.

Callable

Redeemable at a date prior to the regular maturity date.

Certificate

A printed document representing the ownership of a stock or bond.

Church Bond

A loan by an investor to a church.

Churning

The illegal excessive buying and selling of investment to generate commissions.

Collateral

Assets used to secure a loan or bond.

Commission

Fee that the stockbroker receives for transacting an investment trade.

Common Stock

The riskiest type of ownership of a corporation. If a company goes bankrupt, the common stock shareholders are usually paid last.

Corporate Bond

A loan by an investor to a corporation.

Coupon

A small document representing an interest payment that is cut from a bond and cashed in or deposited.

Current Yield

Usually, the income generated by the investment, divided by the cost or current value of the investment, expressed as a percentage.

CUSIP

A unique number that is assigned to all publicly traded securities.

Dated Date

The date a stock or bond was issued.

Day Order

An order to purchase or sell that is only good for the day it was placed.

Debenture

An unsecured bond that is backed only by the full faith and credit of the company.

Default

When a bond stops paying interest.

Delivery

The transfer and shipping of a stock or bond to the investor.

Discount Bond

A bond that is issued at or is selling for less than its face value.

Discretionary Account

An account in which the broker can make trades for the account without having to get the client's permission for each trade.

Diversification

A risk reducing strategy of investing in several different types of investments.

Dividend

Income paid to shareholders of common and preferred stock.

Dollar Cost Averaging

Investing specific amounts on a regular basis to average out the cost of investments over time.

Earnings Per Share

The total net earnings of the company divided by the number of shares.

Effective Date

The date at which a public offering may be made for an investment.

Equity

A stock, as opposed to a bond, option, or other type of investment.

Face Value

The par value of a bond, which is the amount that is paid back to the shareholder when the bond is paid off.

Fiscal Year

The accounting year of a company.

Float

The amount of a company's shares available to the public.

Floor

The trading area of a stock exchange.

Floor Trader

An individual who works on the floor of a stock exchange who does trading for brokerage firms.

Flower Bond

US Government bonds that can be purchased at a discount and used to pay off estate taxes at full face value.

Fourth Market

The trading of large investors among themselves.

Fundamental Analysis

Analyzing a stock based on the company's financial ratios as opposed to analyzing based on stock price movements.

General Obligation Bonds

Municipal bonds that are backed by the full faith and credit of the issuing entity, as opposed to being backed by a revenue stream (such as bridge tolls)

Going Public

Issuing stock to outside investors by a corporation.

Goob

Slang for a commission point.

Good 'Til Canceled

An investment order that stays on the books of the brokerage firm until cancelled by the customer.

Growth Stock

A stock that is purchased for its potential to increase in value (as opposed to a stock that is purchased for income purposes)

High Yield Bonds

Corporate bonds from higher risk corporations that pay a higher interest rate than regular corporate bonds.

Holding Company

A company which owns or holds large percentage of ownership of other companies.

Hot Issue

A new stock offering for which there are more shares wanted by buyers than shares available.

Inactive Stock

A stock that rarely trades.

Indenture

The written agreement between the bond investors and the bond issuer, usually printed right on the bond.

Inside Information

Information about the stock or corporation that executives may have but not the general public.

Insider

An executive of a company or an investor who owns more than 10% of the shares.

Interest

The income that is paid on a bond.

Investment Banker

1. A stock brokerage firm which specializes in raising money for companies. 2. An individual who works for an investment banking institution.

Issue

The corporation's investment, e.g. a stock issue, a bond issue.

Issuer

A corporation that issues a stock or bond.

Joint Tenants

A form of ownership of an investment whereby if one owner dies, the survivors automatically receive the asset without going through probate.

Junk Bonds

High yield or non-interest paying bonds issued by corporations with low quality financial ratings.

Limit Order

An order to buy or sell a stock at a specific price, as opposed to the going market price.

Listed

Traded on a major stock exchange.

Listed Stock

Shares of a company that are traded on a major stock exchange.

Manipulation

The adjustment of a stock's price for illegal purposes.

Margin Account

An account in which the investor can use borrowed funds to invest.

Market Maker

1. A stock brokerage firm that is always willing to buy and sell a stock at specific prices all the time, 2. Someone who trades for their own account at a stock exchange (esp. option market makers)

Market Price

1. The latest traded price of a stock, 2. The price at which a stock can be bought or sold.

Matched Order

Order in which a brokerage firm finds buyers and sellers for large orders outside the stock exchange.

Maturity Date

The date at which a bond is paid off at its face value.

Member Firm

A brokerage firm which belongs to a major stock exchange.

Municipal Bond

A bond which is issued by a state, county, city, or other municipality or public agency, which usually pays tax exempt interest.

NASD

National Association of Securities Dealers, the non-governmental body which oversees stock brokerage firms and brokers.

NASDAQ

National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation bureau, an electronic stock exchange.

Net Income

A corporation's net profits.

Net Worth

The intrinsic value of a corporation, generally calculated by subtracting the liabilities from the assets.

Nominal Quotes

Quotes on unlisted stocks that are not up-to-date

Non-Callable Bond

A bond that can't be redeemed earlier than the maturity date by the issuer.

Odd Lot

Less than 100 shares of stock.

Offer

1. The public offering of a stock issue, 2. The asking price of a stock.

Off-The-Board

A transaction of a listed security that is traded over the counter.

Open Order

1. An order that has not yet been transacted, 2. a Good till cancelled order.

Option

The right to buy or sell a stock at a particular price within a particular time frame.

Original-Issue Discount

A bond that was originally issued below its face or par value.

Paper Profits

A profit that is realized when an investment is sold, as opposed to an unrealized profit.

Par Value

1. An accounting value that is assigned to the shares of stock, which has no bearing on the quality or financial health of a company, 2. The face value of a bond.

Passed Dividend

A regular periodic dividend that is not paid, usually due to financial problems of the company.

Penny Stocks

Stocks that are trading at low prices, generally under $1 to $5 per share.

Physical

The type of delivery of a stock, in certificate format.

Pink Sheets

1. The quotation service that provides prices for over-the-counter stocks that are not traded on NASDAQ. 2. The formerly published pages printed on pink paper, showing the market makers, and bid and asked prices of over-the-counter stocks.

 

Point

A dollar per share, in other words, if a stock went from $47 per share to $49 per share, it is up two points.

Portfolio

Investments held by an investor.

Post

A trading desk or area on the floor of a stock exchange.

Premium Bond

A bond that is trading above its par or face value.

Price

1. The amount at which an investment can be bought or sold, 2. The most recent trading price for a stock.

Principal

The face value or par of a bond.

Prospectus

The offering circular that is given to investors by companies which are going public.

Public Offering

The sale and issuance of stock to the public.

Put

An investment which allows the right to buy a stock at a particular price within a certain amount of time.

Quote

The best bid and asked price of an investment.

Rally

A sharp increase in stock prices.

Redemption

The submission of a bond for repayment of the principal face value.

Registered

An investment that is represented by a certificate showing the owner's name, as opposed to an electronic documentation of the ownership.

Registered Rep

Stockbroker

Revenue

The gross sales of a company.

Reverse Split

A decrease in the total number of shares by the company, which does not change the percentage of ownership of the company. Generally the stock price would increase proportionally.

Right

The right to by shares at a particular price within a certain period of time, issued by the company itself; generally short term.

Round Lot

1. 100 shares of stock, 2. $25,000 or $100,000 worth of bonds.

Scripophily

The collection of old and antique stock and bond certificates.

Scripophilist

A collector of old and antique stocks and bonds.

Seal

The circular incorporation designation on a stock certificate, sometimes embossed.

Seat

Membership in a stock exchange.

SEC

Securities and Exchange Commission, the governmental body which oversees investments and transactions.

Secondary Market

After a stock offering, the market in which previously issued securities are bought and sold

Security

Investments held by an investor.

Sell Order

An order placed by an investor to sell the investment.

Shares Outstanding

The number of shares that are publicly traded.

Short Sale

Selling a stock that you don't own, hoping to buy it back at a lower price.

Specialist

A market maker who works on the floor of a stock exchange.

Split

Issuing additional shares to shareholders, generating a proportional decrease in share price.

Stock

A share of ownership in a corporation.

Stock Certificate

A printed paper document representing ownership of a specified number of shares of a corporation.

Stock Split

Issuing additional shares to shareholders, generating a proportional decrease in share price

Stock-Limit Order

A buy or sell order that is triggered when a stock hits a certain price.

Stop Loss Order

A sell order if a stock drops to a certain price.

Stop Order

An order to buy or sell when a stock reaches a certain price.

Street Name

Ownership of investments that are kept in the name of the broker instead of investor.

Takeover

The acquisition of one corporation by another corporation.

Talon

A larger coupon on a bond that is used to exchange for a page of additional interest coupons.

Tax Deferred

Not taxable currently, for example, the interest generated in an IRA account is not currently taxable but will be when withdrawn.

Tax Exempt

Non taxable usually with respect to municipal bonds.

Tax Free

Non taxable usually with respect to the interest paid on municipal bonds.

Tender Offer

An offer to acquire the shares of a corporation, usually with the intent to take over the company.

Thin Market

Very few shares available to purchase or sell of a stock.

Third Market

Over the counter trading of exchange listed stocks.

Tick

Change in the price of a stock or index, formerly meant one-eight of a point, now one cent.

Tip

A stock recommendation, generally from a dubious source.

Trader

An investor who actively trades stocks on a short term basis.

Treasury Bill

A bond issued by the U.S. Government that matures less than one year.

Treasury Note

A U.S. Government bond that matures between one and ten years.

Treasury Bond

A U.S. Government bond that matures beyond ten years.

Yellow Sheets

The formerly published pages printed on yellow paper, showing the market makers, and bid and asked prices of over-the-counter corporate bonds.

Zero Coupon Bond

A bond purchased at a discount that pays no interest, only an increase in its value.

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