Economics and Business

New York Stock Exchange

When was the Wall Street Journal first published?

The newspaper, considered one of the world’s best and certainly the preeminent American financial periodical, was first published in 1889, seven years after the Dow, Jones and Company (the comma between the two names was later dropped) was founded by financial reporters Charles Henry Dow (1851–1902) and Edward Davis Jones (1856–1920). Since the founding of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 1792, business reporting had been largely based on rumor or speculation. Dow and Jones were determined to provide American businesspeople and investors with up-to-date and accurate reporting on the stock market. In its first seven years of business, their publishing company grew from six employees to a staff of 50. In 1889 Dow and Jones expanded their two-page daily newspaper, titled Customers’ Afternoon Letter, into the Wall Street Journal. The paper’s stated goal was to give full and fair information regarding fluctuations in the prices of stocks, bonds, and some commodities. Further, the focus was to be on news rather than opinion. The paper began publishing composite lists of major stocks in 1884. In the decades since, it has expanded coverage to include all facets of the business and economic world and now caters to the leisure interests of businesspeople by publishing reports on the arts, travel, sports, and other recreational activities.


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