NEW YORK The New York Stock Exchange began trading in decimals yesterday, ending a centuries-old tradition of trading in halves, quarters and other fractions of a dollar.
The conversion to penny increments, which affects more than 3,500 stocks, was the last step in a government-mandated move that included the switchover of 159 NYSE issues to decimals last year as part of a pilot program.
"The conversion has been smooth as silk," said NYSE chairman Richard Grasso.
The same change occurred successfully yesterday on the smaller American Stock Exchange, involving about 1,500 stocks and options.
The shift isnt scheduled to be completed on the Nasdaq Stock Market home to more than 4,600 companies including Intel and Microsoft until April 9.
The SEC ordered the move to decimalization on the theory it would make stock prices easier for investors to understand, and potentially open stock bidding and selling to more competition.
With yesterdays change, a stock can now be also traded in penny increments, and have prices such as $10.17, $47.43 and $52.79.
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