What is the Philadelphia Stock Exchange?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2019
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The Philadelphia Stock Exchange is a large exchange located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that offers trading in index options, equity options, and currency options. Traders and brokers can execute deals on the floor of the exchange in addition to using automated trading systems that communicate electronically. Trading volume in this exchange is high and it is among the largest in the United States. Typically, information about trading on this exchange is listed in financial publications and may be included in broadcasts of financial news so that people can track trading activity.

Founded as the Board of Brokers in 1790, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange is the oldest exchange in the United States. It moved to the Merchant's Exchange Building in 1834 before becoming known as the Philadelphia Stock Exchange in 1875, and has relocated on numerous occasions to new facilities, some of which became national landmarks. As of 2010, the exchange was located at 1900 Market Street in Philadelphia.

Over the course of the 20th century, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange merged with several other local exchanges in Pittsburgh, Washington, and Baltimore, increasing its size and volume of trading. In 2007, it was announced that the exchange was for sale, and a deal was completed in 2008 to sell it to NASDAQ OMX. Officially, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange is known as the NASDAQ OMX PHLX or simply PHLX. The sale increased the size and trading volume in addition to providing access for traders to other NASDAQ OMX partners.


Over 2,600 equity options are traded on the PHLX, along with index options by sector, such as semiconductor, oil, and silver options. Global currency options are also available for trade. Normal trading hours are from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. local time on Monday through Friday, with special closures for holidays. After hours trading is available through electronic trading systems.

Visitors to Philadelphia can arrange to take tours of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange if they are interested in seeing trading in action and learning more about the exchange. Such tours are also available for other exchanges by arrangement. For membership in the exchange, people can work under the sponsorship of a parent organization or apply for membership independently. Traders are required to pay fees and must comply with the rules of the trading floor while at the exchange. These rules are designed to streamline trading and provide minimum standards for behavior on the part of traders.


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