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Wall Street is the name of a narrow thoroughfare in lower Manhattan running east from Broadway downhill to the East River. Considered to be the historical heart of the Financial District, it was the first permanent home of the New York Stock Exchange.
The phrase "Wall Street" is also used to refer to the financial markets as a whole. Interestingly, most New York financial firms are no longer headquartered on Wall Street (JPMorgan Chase, the last major holdout, sold its headquarters tower at 60 Wall Street to Deutsche Bank in November 2001), but elsewhere in lower and midtown Manhattan. When contrasted to "Main Street", it can refer to big business interests as against those of small business.
The name of the street derives from the fact that during the 17th century, it formed the northern boundary of the New Amsterdam settlement where the Dutch had constructed a crude wall of timber and earthwork in 1652. The wall was ostensibly meant as a defense against attack from Lenape Indians, New England colonists, and the British, but it was never tested in battle. The wall was dismantled by the British in 1699.
The Wall Street Journal, named in reference to the actual street, is an influential international daily business newspaper published in New York City. For many years, it had the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States, although it is currently second to USA Today. It is owned by Dow Jones & Company.
In the late 18th century, there was a buttonwood tree at the foot of Wall Street under which traders and speculators would gather to trade informally. This was the origin of the New York Stock Exchange.
Lower Manhattan buildings (below 1st street)