Wall Street is an eight-block-long street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. It runs between Broadway in the west to South Street and the East River in the east. The term "Wall Street" has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, the American financial services industry, New York–based financial interests, or the Financial District itself.
Wall Street was originally known in Dutch as "de Waalstraat" when it was part of New Amsterdam in the 17th century, though the origins of the name vary. An actual wall existed on the street from 1685 to 1699. During the 17th century, Wall Street was a slave trading marketplace and a securities trading site, as well as the location of Federal Hall, New York's first city hall. In the early 19th century, both residences and businesses occupied the area, but increasingly business predominated, and New York City's financial industry became centered on Wall Street. In the 20th century, several early skyscrapers were built on Wall Street, including 40 Wall Street, once the world's tallest building.
Wall Street is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Several other major exchanges have or had headquarters in the Wall Street area, including the New York Mercantile Exchange, the New York Board of Trade, the New York Futures Exchange (NYFE), and the former American Stock Exchange. To support the exchanges, many brokerage firms had offices "clustered around Wall Street". The direct economic impacts of Wall Street activities extend beyond New York City.
Wall Street physically contains several banking headquarters and skyscrapers, as well as the New York Stock Exchange Building and Federal Hall National Memorial. The street is served by three subway stations and a ferry stop.