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How Regional Stock Exchanges Work

Stock exchanges that focus on listing stocks of corporations from specific geographic regions of the country are called regional exchanges. In the United States, the four major regional exchanges are Boston, Chicago, Pacific, and Philadelphia stock exchanges.

These regional markets are smaller than the NYSE, NASDAQ, and Amex. Although they list mostly regional stocks not on the national exchanges, regional exchanges sometimes list stocks of companies located in their regions even if they’re listed on one of the national exchanges.

Each regional exchange offers its own unique blend of services:

  • Boston serves a financial community where trillions of dollars that are invested in mutual funds are managed, so that exchange focuses on serving those clients.

  • Chicago trades stocks listed regionally but also trades stocks from other exchanges, including the NYSE, Amex, and NASDAQ, so it also serves the needs of its regional financial institutions.

  • The Pacific Exchange focuses on buying and selling options, and thus is known as one of the world’s leading derivatives markets.

  • The Philadelphia Stock Exchange focuses on trading options of various sectors, including oil service, precious metals (gold and silver), semiconductors, banks, and utilities. The exchange also manages a market structure for trading currency options.

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