Major stock exchanges in the United States include the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the American Stock Exchange (AMEX), both in New York City. Far more corporations list their stock on the NYSE than on the AMEX, however. Nine smaller regional stock exchanges operate in Boston, Massachusetts; Cincinnati, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Francisco, California; and Spokane, Washington. In addition, most of the world’s industrialized nations have stock exchanges. Among the larger international exchanges are those in London, England; Paris, France; Milan, Italy; Hong Kong, China; Toronto, Canada; and Tokyo, Japan. These stock exchanges all have a central location for trading. The major over-the-counter market in the United States is the Nasdaq Stock Market (formerly, the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation [NASDAQ] system). The European Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation system (EASDAQ) is the major over-the-counter market for the European Union (EU).
Stock exchange transactions involve the activities of brokers and dealers. These individuals facilitate the buying and selling of financial assets. Brokers execute trades on behalf of clients and receive commissions and fees in exchange for matching buyers and sellers. Dealers, on the other hand, buy and sell from their own portfolios (inventories of securities). Dealers earn income by selling a financial instrument at a price that is greater than the price the dealer paid for the instrument. Some exchange participants perform both roles. These dealer-brokers sometimes act purely as a client’s agent and at other times buy and sell from their own inventory