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This Day In Market History: S&P 500 Quotes Delivered Every 15 Seconds

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This Day In Market History: S&P 500 Quotes Delivered Every 15 Seconds

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened?

On this day 33 years ago, Standard & Poors began disseminating S&P 500 index values once every 15 seconds.

Where The Market Was

The Dow closed at 1,874.19. The S&P 500 traded at around 245.73. Today, the Dow is trading at 26,004 and the S&P 500 is trading at 2,879.

What Else Was Going On In The World?

In 1986, the Soviet nuclear reactor at Chernobyl exploded, releasing radioactive material in Ukraine and neighboring countries in Europe. The U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff, killing all seven astronauts on board. The average price of a new car was $9,255.

S&P Trading Speeds Up

Due to its large number of components and the fact that all of the biggest U.S. companies are included in the index, the S&P 500 is often used as the definitive measure of the U.S. equities market.

Standard & Poors first introduced the S&P 500 back in 1957, but the components of the index are adjusted regularly to accurately reflect the composition of the evolving economy.

Through the years, the S&P 500 has often represented the default benchmark for passive investors via ETFs like the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY). However, plenty of day traders also trade funds, options and futures that are directly tied to the S&P 500 index as well.

In June 1986, Standard & Poors quadrupled the amount of information these day traders receive throughout the typical day. Prior to 1986, Standard & Poors disseminated pricing quotes for the S&P 500 once every minute. However, starting in 1986, that interval dropped to once every 15 seconds.

Today, traders get 1,559 updated price quotes for the S&P 500 per day. Each official pricing update is disseminated by Reuters America.

Related Links:

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