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Stock Market Trivia

What is the history of stocks?

The trading of stocks ( shares ) and bonds actually began in ancient Babylon, where cuneiform documents representing loans to businesses and shares of interests in businesses and maritime expeditions actually traded hands. 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 stock and bonds certificates. During the seventeenth century, certificates of ownership of busineses came into existance. These businesses were primarily involved in trade with the East Indies. The first United States stock exchange was the Philadelphia Stock Exchange pictured above.

What are the oldest stock and bond certificates?

The oldest post-cuneiform stock and bond certificates have several claims to fame. The most common earliest claim is the VOC (Verenigde Oost Indische Companie) United East India Company (also referred to as the Dutch East India Company), an international trading firm, dated 1606, which was stolen from the Amsterdam municipal archive in the 1980s. Publicity surrounding this certificate has increased significantly due to the recent movie 'Ocean's Twelve', starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt, which is about the stealing of the oldest stock certificate in Amsterdam. There is a collector who currently has this certificate and claims rightful ownership.

The oldest printed bond is purported to be a Holland & Westvriesland loan dated 1586 to support the war against Spain. The investors were actually forced to invest in these bonds, but the buyer could decide whether they would receive interest payments with eventual principal repayment, or receive annuity payments for life.

An even earlier claim is a share in the Stora-Kopparbergs company dated 1299, handwritten on vellum (lambskin parchment). This is a Swedish business that is still an operating conglomerate.

What were the original Dow Jones Industrial Average stocks?

The original Dow Jones Industrial Average stocks, created in 1896, and what eventually happened to them, are as follows:
  • American Cotton Oil became part of Bestfoods
  • American Sugar became part of Amstar Holdings
  • American Tobacco Broken up in 1911
  • Chicago Gas became part of Peoples Gas
  • Distilling & Cattle Feeding Whiskey trust became part of Millennium Chemical
  • General Electric still in the DJIA
  • Laclede Gas Active
  • National Lead became part of NL Industries
  • North American Utility
  • Tennessee Coal & Iron became part of U.S. Steel
  • U.S. Leather (preferred) Liquidated in 1952
  • U.S. Rubber became part of Michelin

    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 stock has the symbol BOOT?

    Lacrosse Footware Inc.

    What was the highest share price?

    The highest priced share was 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, which at the time this is written, in May 2002, is trading at $78,300.

    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.

    When was the first stock exchange created in the US?

    The Philadelphia Stock Exchange, in 1790. The New York Stock Exchange wasn't founded until 1792.

    What stock had GRRR for its stock symbol?

    Lion Country Safari

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

    The Curb, becasue it was originally started by traders on the streets of New York City.

    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.

    What stock has CASH for its symbol?

    First Midwest Financial, Inc.

    When did the New York Stock Exchange first introduce the stock ticker?


    What stock has BABY for its symbol?

    Natus Medical, Inc.

    What stock has EYES for its symbol?

    Vision Twenty One Inc.

    What stock has EYE for its symbol?

    VISX Inc

    What stock has WOOF for its symbol?

    VCA Antech Inc (an animal health care services company )

    What stock formerly had AMEN for its symbol?

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    Stock Market Trivia

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