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Quote of the Day


“We the Subscribers, Brokers for the Purchase and Sale of the Public Stock, do hereby solemnly promise and pledge ourselves to each other, that we will not buy or sell from this day for any person whatsoever, any kind of Public Stock, at a less rate than one quarter percent Commission on the Specie value and that we will give preference to each other in our Negotiations. In Testimony whereof we have set our hands this 17th day of May at New York, 1792”

– Buttonwood Agreement, which was signed this day in 1792 establishing the rules for what would become the New York Stock Exchange


May 17th – This Day in Stock Market History

May 17th, 1792 – The Buttonwood Agreement is signed by a group of 24 brokers, establishing what will become the New York Stock Exchange.

Signing of the Buttonwood agreement on May 17th, 1792. Source: Library of Congress

It established general rules and rates of commissions for the brokers. The rules for broker commissions established by the Buttonwood agreement (set at no lower than 0.25%) would remain in effect until “May day”, May 1st, 1975 when commissions would be lowered to a market rate.

Image of the official Buttonwood agreement. Source: American Museum of Finance


Source: Eyewitness to Wall Street: 400 Years of Dreamers, Schemers, Busts and Booms


May 17th, 1961 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 700 for the first time. The milestone came 2 years after 600 was first reached (February 20th, 1959), and it would take nearly 3 years for the Dow Jones Industrial Average to reach 800 (February 28th, 1964).

Chart from Macrotrends
Dow Jones Industrial Average from 1955 to 1965. Chart from Macrotrends


Source: The Market’s Measure: An Illustrated History of America Told Through the Dow Jones Industrial Average

Best May 17th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

1934 – Up 3.50%, 3.25 points.


Worst May 17th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

1940 – Down 4.78%, 6.23 points.


Go To Next Day: May 18th: 2012 – Facebook IPO –>