This morning I stepped onto the podium to help ring the Opening Bell for the New York Stock Exchange. I'm here with 38 other educators learning how the market is changing, and moving more into an automated exchange.
About 9:15 we were summoned to go down to the bell podium overlooking the main floor of the exchange. John Thain, CEO of the exchange, accompanied our group. We looked out over the floor with our eyes on the digitial clock right in front of use. Traders gathered to watch, as our group representative, Chris, a teacher from Brighton, Mich. pressed the green bell button precisely at 9:29:50. A focus of concentration, he pressed the button for 10 seconds, and when the bell stopped it's clang, trading began.
The sound is deafening, let me tell you. And we all hoped for an up market, though the futures market, which had opened earlier, was down. Not a good bellwether.
See us: http://www.nyse.com/events/1187606558606.html
At the end of "our" day, the NYSE did close down (the NASDAQ closed up) but more than 3 billion shares were traded, contintuing to buck the usual trend of slow trading days in August.
Check back for more information, live from the NYSE.