Hello Fellow ChartWatchers!
This week, it's story time.
This past December, right in the midst of the holiday rush and the endless festivities of the season, a few of us from the StockCharts team put down the gift wrap, packed up our suitcases and flew across the country for a last-minute trip to New York City. We had received a very special invitation from our good friend, Jay Woods, CMT, and no amount of Christmas cookies could hold us back from this one.
Jay is an Executive Floor Governor and designated market maker with IMC Trading. He's spent over 27 years on the floor of the NYSE, right in the center of capitalism and the heart of global finance. To say that Jay's professional life is unique would be a tragic understatement. His perspective on the markets, stocks, charts and everything else financial is unlike anything you're used to, and we had the rare opportunity to capture it on film.
Suited up and ready for action, Dave Keller and I ventured down to Wall Street alongside our producer, Gretchen Pitluk. With special permission from the NYSE, we donned our colorful guest badges and helped Gretchen lug a load of camera equipment through the historic halls of the exchange.
Jay came to greet us and ushered us to his post, where his fellow IMC market makers were all settling in before the opening bell. After a quick strategy discussion, we mic'd up, straightened our ties and waited for Gretchen's countdown.
"3. . . 2. . . 1. . . ACTION!"
For the next several hours, Jay toured us around the floor of the NYSE and beyond, deep into the exchange to areas that only a select group of invited guests have a chance to see. Humbled and excited, we followed along as our guide lead through his home away from home.
We wound through the maze of monstrous trading posts for each firm on the floor, past giant monitors with fast-moving charts and brightly-lit quote boards flashing rapidly with each price change. We stood below the infamous bell that's rung every morning and afternoon to open and close the session. We made our way up through the stairway lined with signatures from dozens of corporate figures and other guests that have visited the NYSE to ring the bell, emerging out onto the balcony that looks down on the trading floor from high above – a space where few have been since it was closed to the public after 9/11. We even had a chance to zip upstairs to the private hall where the exchange's founding document, the historic Buttonwood Agreement, is on display.
In short, it was everything two market geeks like Dave and I could ever dream of.
I'll be honest, I struggled to contain myself throughout this experience. I'd like to think I held it together pretty well on camera, but every time Gretchen gave me the signal I couldn't help but let my jaw hit the floor, eyes wide, smiling from ear to ear, head turning every which way as I tried to take in the incredible atmosphere that is the New York Stock Exchange.
When the cameras were rolling though, it was all business. We talked to Jay about the history of the exchange, got to see how he and the other traders on the floor operate, heard about how charts factor into Jay's unique role and listened as he described his fascinating approach to the trading day as a market maker. We even had the chance to watch an IPO in real time, from opening bell through the initial pricing process to the stock's first trade on the NYSE.
So if you didn't catch the premiere of our two-part StockCharts TV special earlier this week, grab yourself a seat and enjoy "The Big Board: Behind The Scenes At The NYSE", out now on the official StockCharts YouTube channel.
PART 1 – "The Big Board: Behind The Scenes At The NYSE"
PART 2 – "The Big Board: Behind The Scenes At The NYSE"
Chart on, my friends.
- Grayson Roze
VP of Operations, StockCharts.com
Author, Trading For Dummies (Wiley, 2017)
Author, Tensile Trading (Wiley, 2016)