The Ultimate Stock Market Quiz


By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Don't fear this quiz if you aren't a financial whiz -- we're just testing your basic knowledge and throwing in some history here and there. Check it out and see what you know about the stock market!

Where's the oldest stock exchange in the world?

The Antwerp Bourse opened its doors in 1460 and kept going until 1997.


Where was the first stock exchange in the United States?

New York is where all the action is today, of course, but the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, founded in 1790, predated it by two years.


The founders of the New York Stock Exchange took inspiration from which country's stock market?

The value of the dollar had been based on the Spanish real, so the NYSE founders looked to Spain for inspiration for their stock market, too. Long story, but the Spanish real is also the reason for all the fractional stock prices in the NYSE.


What was the first listed company on the NYSE?

Shares of the Bank of New York were traded under the fabled buttonwood tree on Wall Street in 1792.


What's the largest stock exchange in the world, in terms of market capitalization (basically, the total value of all listed companies)?

The NYSE tops the list here.


What's the name for the method of communications used by stock traders frantically running around a trading floor and using hand signals?

Open outcry is the (perhaps soon-to-be extinct) way to communicate transactions through shouting and hand signals.


Which of the following is an example of a defensive stock?

A defensive stock is so named because its value doesn't fluctuate much. So a good example of defensive stock would be utility stocks.


What does it mean when a trader flashes four fingers parallel to the floor, palm out?

Palm out means sell. Four fingers at a 90-degree angle indicates nine (four upright fingers would indicate four).


What was the first totally electronic stock market?

NASDAQ has been electronic (meaning, no trading floor) ever since its inception in 1971. All other stock markets have lagged far behind, although they're getting there.


How many companies are in the Dow Jones Industrial Average?

Very simply put, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is the average stock value of 30 very large, industrial companies.


Which company is NOT a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average? is a member of the NASDAQ-100, not the Dow Jones.


What's the name of the Canadian stock market?

Just as in the United States, the Canadian market takes its name from the country's largest city -- Toronto.


What do we call a strong economy -- a bull or bear market?

A bull market indicates a strong economy.


Who directed the 1983 movie, "Trading Places"?

This commodity broker commedy was directed by John Landis.


Is insider trading ever legal?

You usually hear about the illegal kind of insider trading, but it can be legal. Employees buy and sell stock in the companies they work for all the time, and that's technically insider trading.


When is insider trading illegal?

It doesn't matter if the insider knowledge positively or negatively impacts the company's stock price -- if an employee acts on it, it's illegal. Same goes for spouses, friends, bankers, lawyers, etc.


Which act, created in 2002, seeks to cut down on insider trading by (among other things) banning all trades of a company's stock during certain "blackout windows"?

Congress created the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in reaction to the Enron scandal. The blackout windows are in effect surrounding major company announcements.


Which federal agency is responsible for regulating the stock markets?

The SEC is in charge of the securities industry and the stock markets.


What "Greed is good" character is Michael Douglas reprising for Oliver Stone?

In the movie "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," Michael Douglas will reprise his role as Gordon Gekko.


What historic agreement rang in the start of the New York Stock Exchange in 1792?

The historic Buttonwood Agreement, which was signed by 24 of the most prominent bankers, brokers and merchants of the time, described a plan for trading stocks and securities through a common clearing house.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!