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May Anniversaries
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May 1:

  • 1975 - Vanguard began operating, offering eleven mutual funds: Wellington, Windsor, Ivest, Explorer, Gemini, Trustees' Equity, Exeter, Wellesley Income, Morgan Growth, Westminster Bond, and Fund for Federal Securities. Source: Robert Slater (1996) John Bogle and the Vanguard Experiment. McGraw-Hill. p.85, p.88.

May 2:

May 3:

May 5:

  • 1979 - The first modern leveraged buyout using high-yield junk bonds, a $381 million deal to take Houdaille Industries private, is completed by Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. Source: George P. Baker and George David Smith, The New Financial Capitalists: Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and the Creation of Corporate Value (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 71.

May 5:

May 6:

  • 1929 - The first trading session took place on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Source: Luxembourg Stock Exchange History
  • 2010 - In a technical market disturbance known as the "flash crash", the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its worst intra-day point loss, dropping nearly 1,000 points before partially recovering. Source

May 7:

May 8:

May 9:

  • 1894 - Benjamin Graham, considered the father of value investing, and coauthor/author of classic investment texts, Security Analysis (1934) and The Intelligent Investor (1949) was born on May 9, 1894 in London, U.K Source:Benjamin Graham, Wikipedia
  • 1972 - The final version of a study by Fisher Black and Myron Scholes introducing the Black-Scholes Option Pricing Formula was received by the Journal of Political Economy. This study specified the first successful options pricing formula (mathematics of option pricing, dynamic hedging strategies using options and other derivatives) and described the general framework for pricing derivative securities. The formula is one of most important mathematical tools in the modern theory of finance. Sources: Business history of Wall Street; The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities. Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 86, p.637.

May 10:

  • 1837 - The Panic of 1837 gets its start when all of the banks in New York City suspend specie payments (refusal to pay specie (gold or silver) at par for their outstanding notes or deposits). Source: The Suffolk Bank and the Panic of 1837

May 11:

  • 1752 - The first fire insurance policy company ("homeowners") in the US was formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. "The Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insuring of Houses from Loss by Fire" was founded by Benjamin Franklin. Source: Insurance: Philadelphia Contributionship
  • 1973 - The Depository Trust Co. is established to smooth the delivery of securities and to provide a centralized electronic safety deposit box for stocks and bonds. In 1999 the company would combine with the National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC) to form the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation. Source: The Depository Trust Company· Annual Report 1973
  • 2016 - Jack Treynor, whose insights into risk and return underpin theories for investment pricing and shaped the field of quantitative finance, died in Harbor City, California. Source: Jack Treynor, Who Pioneered Modern Investment Theory, Dies at 86

May 12:

May 13:

May 14:

  • 1607 - On May 14, 1607, English settlers arrived under the authority of the Virginia Company of London, chartered by King James I, and established the first permanent British settlement in North America at a place they named Jamestown, Virginia. The Virginia Company of London, so far as achieving its aims as a profitable stockholding company, was a dismal failure. Despite numerous creative and desperate attempts to make Virginia stable and financially successful, the investors never achieved a profit. Sources: Today in History: May 14; The Virginia Company of London
  • 1979 - Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR & Co) acquired Houdaille Industries in a $355 million buyout. The transaction was the first public-to-private leveraged buyout of a publicly traded company. KKR took almost one year to raise $355 million from several bank and insurance companies. The deal left the company with 86% leverage, financed by multi-layered array of senior, subordinated securities. Source: Business history: The seventies

May 15:

May 16:

  • 1949 - The Tokyo Stock Exchange, closed during the second world war, reopened on May 16, 1949. Source:FAQ Nikkei Stock Averages
  • 1972 - The Chicago Mercantile Exchange establishes the International Monetary Market, a futures market in seven foreign currencies. May 16 marks the worlds first day of trading in foreign-currency futures. Source:Innovate to Advance: 40 years of Foreign Exchange Futures, Open/Markets

May 17:

  • 1792 - In New York city, twenty-four brokers met under a buttonwood tree at what is now 68 Wall Street and subscribed to a brokers' agreement. This was the first organized stock market in New York. Source: Factbook

May 18:

  • 2006 - The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, a composite of single-family home price indices for the nine U.S. Census divisions, was launched on May 18, 2006. Source: S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, fact sheet

May 22:

May 23:

May 24:

  • 1688 - The earliest known book on the stock market, Joseph Penso de la Vega's Confusion de Confusiones (Confusion of Confusions), appeared when Vega signed a dedication to his dialogues about the Amsterdam stock exchange on May 24, 1688. Source: Joseph de la Vega, Confusion de Confusiones (Baker Library, Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, Cambridge, MA, 1957), pp. xi, 22. available at google digitized

May 26:

May 27:

  • 1933 - The United States Congress enacted the Securities Act of 1933. The act required that new security offerings be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and that prospective investors must be provided with a prospectus. Source: Securities Act of 1933
  • 2015 - The NASDAQ Composite Index passed the 5100 milestone for the first time in history when it closed at 5106.59. Reaching the 5100 milestone was a long climb back from the 2000 - 2003 bubble collapse. The NASDAQ Composite breached the 5000 milestone on March 9, 2000. Source: NASDAQ Composite (COMP)

May 31:

  • 1974 - The Fidelity Daily Income Trust (now Fidelity® Government Cash Reserves) became the first money market fund to offer check writing privileges. Source: This day in financial history, Houston Finance Club
  • 1996 - The Tallinn Stock Exchange in Estonia began trading on May 31, 1996. The exchange is now part of the Baltic Market component of the NASDAQ OMX Exchanges. The OMX comprises eight Baltic and Nordic exchanges.Source: History