Opening Bell

Written By
Paul Tracy
Updated November 4, 2020

What is the Opening Bell?

Opening bell refers to the beginning of the trading day on an exchange. However, in the United States, only the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) rings an actual bell every day.

How Does the Opening Bell Work?

At 9:30 A.M. on every trading day, four bells -- one in each of the NYSE's trading areas -- ring simultaneously to signal the start of trading. A Chinese gong was used before the exchange brought in brass bells in 1903.

Each opening bell is 18 inches in diameter and was manufactured by the G. S. Edwards Company of Norwalk, CT. Interestingly, the NYSE found a larger, older bell in a crawlspace above the trading floor when the NYSE was refurbishing the original bells in the 1980s. This larger bell is now a backup bell and sits on a platform above the trading floor.

Why Does the Opening Bell Matter?

The opening bell signifies the beginning of the trading day on an exchange.

A variety of people -- famous, infamous, and unknowns -- have had the privilege of ringing the opening bell (which actually involves pressing a buzzer) since 1956, and it is one of the most widely watched daily events in the world. The Opening Bell and The Closing Bell are service marks of the New York Stock Exchange.

Activate your free account to unlock our most valuable savings and money-making tips
  • 100% FREE
  • Exclusive money-making tips before we post them to the live site
  • Weekly insights and analysis from our financial experts
  • Free Report - 25 Ways to Save Hundreds on Your Monthly Expenses
  • Free Report - Eliminate Credit Card Debt with these 10 Simple Tricks
Ask an Expert
All of our content is verified for accuracy by Paul Tracy and our team of certified financial experts. We pride ourselves on quality, research, and transparency, and we value your feedback. Below you'll find answers to some of the most common reader questions about Opening Bell.
Be the first to ask a question

If you have a question about Opening Bell, then please ask Paul.

Ask a question

Paul has been a respected figure in the financial markets for more than two decades. Prior to starting InvestingAnswers, Paul founded and managed one of the most influential investment research firms in America, with more than 3 million monthly readers.

If you have a question about Opening Bell, then please ask Paul.

Ask a question Read more from Paul
Paul Tracy - profile
Ask an Expert about Opening Bell

By submitting this form you agree with our Privacy Policy

Don't Know a Financial Term?
Search our library of 4,000+ terms