The American Stock Exchange (AMEX) is an American
stock exchange situated in New York.
AMEX is a mutual organization, owned by its members. Until
1929 it was known as the New York Curb Exchange.
On 2008-01-17, NYSE
Euronext announced it would acquire the American Stock
Exchange for $260 million in stock.
traces its roots back to colonial times when stock brokers created
outdoor markets in New York City to trade new government issued
securities. The AMEX started out in 1842 as such a market at the
curbstone on Broad Street near Exchange Place. The curb brokers
gathered around the lamp posts and mail boxes, resisting wind
and weather, putting up lists of stocks for sale. As trading activity
increased so did the volume of the transactions; the shouting
reached such a high level that stock hand signals had to be introduced
so that the brokers could continue trading over the din. In 1921
the market was moved indoors into the building at 86 Trinity Place,
Manhattan, where it still resides. The hand signals remained in
place for decades even after the move, as a means of covenient
communication. The building was declared a National Historic Landmark
business has shifted over the years from stocks to options and
Exchange-traded funds, although it continues to trade small to
mid-size stocks. An effort in the mid-1990s to initiate an Emerging
Company Marketplace ended in failure, as the reduced listing standards
(beyond the existing lenient AMEX standards) caused penny stock
promoters to move their scams to a national exchange. In the mid
1990s the exchange was dogged by allegations of trading improprieties,
which were highlighted by BusinessWeek in 1999.. In
1998, the American Stock Exchange merged with the National Association
of Securities Dealers (operators of NASDAQ) to create "The Nasdaq-Amex
Market Group" where AMEX is an independent entity of the NASD
parent company. After tension between the NASD and AMEX members,
the latter group bought out the NASD and acquired control of the
AMEX in 2004.
Out of the
three major American stock exchanges, the AMEX is known to have
the most liberal policies concerning company listing, as most
of its companies are generally smaller compared to the NYSE and
NASDAQ. The Amex also specialises in the trading of ETFs, and
hybrid/structured securities. The majority of US listed ETF's
are traded at the AMEX including the SPDR and most Powershares.
In 2005, the
AMEX attempted to popularize an American implementation of the
Canadian income trust model. Listed Equity Income Hybrid Securities,
(more commonly known as Income Deposit Securities) listed on the
AMEX are B & G Foods Holding Corp. (BGF), Centerplate, Inc.
(CVP), Coinmach Service Corp. (DRY), and Otelco Inc. (OTT). Recently
Coinmach Service Corp, has been attempting to restructure itself
away from being an income trust.
companies listed on the AMEX include British American Tobacco
(ADR) (BTI), Imperial Oil Limited (IMO), Seaboard Corporation
(SEB) and Bio-Rad Laboratories (BIO). Seaboard is notable for
not having split its shares since becoming publicly listed; shares
of SEB trade for around $1,640 (2007-10-29).
The AMEX also
produces stock market indices; perhaps the most notable of these
is an index of stocks of internet companies now known as the Internet
Index. Recently, the AMEX has also developed a unique set of indices
known as Intellidexes, which attempt to gain alpha by creating
indices weighted on fundamental factors. The AMEX Composite, a
value-weighted index of all stocks listed on the exchange, established
a record monthly close of 2,069.16 points on November 30, 2006.
Robert (1970). The Curbstone Brokers: The Origins of the
American Stock Exchange. ISBN 1893122654.
Robert (1972). AMEX: A History of the American Stock Exchange.