Securities are bought and sold in a number of different markets. The best known are the New York Stock Exchange and the American Stock Exchange, both located in New York City.
In addition, six regional exchanges are located in cities throughout the country. A corporation’s securities may be traded on an exchange only after the issuing company has applied to the exchange and met any listing standards relating, for example, to the company's assets, number of shares publicly held, and number of stockholders.
Organized markets for other instruments, including standardized options, impose similar restrictions. The exchanges facilitate a liquid market for securities where buyers and sellers are brought together.
Listing on an exchange, however, does not constitute approval of the securities or provide any assurance as to risk and return.