In both cases the answer you would have been given would have been wrong – New York is not even the oldest stock market in America, Philadelphia is.
And London is not even the oldest stock market in Europe!
The oldest accredited stock market in the world opened in 1531 in Belgium. The interesting fact about this, beyond any historical significance, is that the underlying reason why the exchange opened was the same then, the same in the 1600 and 1700s, when stock exchanges around the world mushroomed, and is principally the same reason as why many companies stocks are traded on the stock exchange today – they were and are a means of raising capital.
Thus, in most cases, stock markets operate as a secondary market to buy and sell company stocks – and the companies themselves rarely, if ever, make any money out of the stock market listing! How Stock Market History Plays Its Role So, now that you can see that stock markets are primarily a secondary market for buying and selling stock, it may be easier to see how stock market history play such a significant role in how stock markets react today.
If not consider this: if you have a bullish market where there are lots of people wanting to buy stock and not many wanting to sell stock you have a squeeze and stock prices will go up. But what happens if the level of the rise in the stock is not substantiated and the price become inflated? Then you may well have a reactionary effect where the market becomes bearish and there are more people wanting to sell than buy.