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If fractions scare you, you don't have to worry about judging stock values, since stocks are now priced in decimals. Knowing how stocks are priced and traded can help you make better investment decisions. Take this quiz to see how much you know why the stock market changed from fractions to decimals.

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Question 1 of 15

When did the New York Stock Exchange come into existence?

1776

1792

In the year 1792, the New York Stock Exchange came into existence.

1864

Question 2 of 15

Which European country was a model for the New York Stock Exchange?

Italy

France

Spain

Spain was a model for the New York Stock Exchange.

Question 3 of 15

Who signed the Buttonwood Agreement?

bankers

brokers

both answers

In 1792, 24 American bankers, brokers and merchants signed the agreement which established the New York Stock Exchange.

Question 4 of 15

What was a real?

Spanish currency

A real was a Spanish silver dollar. The real was divided into two, four or eight pieces.

Italian currency

German currency

Question 5 of 15

Why was the real divided into eight pieces?

Spaniards used their fingers to count.

Spaniards used their fingers to count, minus the thumbs.

Historians do not know the reason.

The Queen of Spain had eight husbands.

Question 6 of 15

In 1792, on what currency was the U.S. dollar's value based?

Spanish real

The dollar's value was based on the Spanish real.

English pound

Italian lira

Question 7 of 15

What is the base of the decimal system?

base five

base eight

base 10

The decimal system is based on units of 10. When using fingers as an early calculator, this system, unlike the Spanish system, included the thumbs.

Question 8 of 15

When stocks were priced using fractions, what was the smallest possible change in stock price?

fourth

eighth

The smallest change in stock price was an eighth of a dollar.

tenth

Question 9 of 15

What happened in 1997 to stock trading?

Fractions were converted to decimals.

In 1997, with the signing of the Common Cents Pricing Act, fractions were converted to decimals.

Decimals were converted to fractions.

The spreads of stock trades were increased.

Question 10 of 15

When did decimalization of stocks begin?

2000

The decimalization of the stock market began in August of 2000.

2002

2005

Question 11 of 15

What is a stock spread?

smallest change in value

A stock spread is the smallest amount of money a stock can change in value.

shares available

shares earnings per share

Question 12 of 15

How will decimalization change stock trading?

easier to calculate

Decimalization will make stock prices easier to calculate.

more confusing

harder to trade

Question 13 of 15

How does decimalization change the stock spread?

increase to one dollar

decrease to 10 cents

decrease to one cent

Stock spreads may be as small as one penny.

Question 14 of 15

How did stock spreads change after fractions were converted to decimals?

easier to calculate

They became much easier to calculate, especially after some spreads had spread to sixty-fourths.

harder to calculate

no change

Question 15 of 15

What decimal is equivalent to three-eighths?

0.125

0.25

3.7499999999999999E-2

The decimal equivalent of three-eighths is 0.375.

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