There are few things more anticipated in the stock market than an initial public offering, or IPO. IPOs occur when companies offer their stock, or shares of the firm, to the public for the first time.
There are a few exchanges in the US on which stocks are traded, and thus IPOs can take place.
The New York Stock Exchange is the largest and oldest of these exchanges, dating from 1792, and it sits in its iconic home on Wall Street.
Business Insider got a backstage look at one of the IPO days through the eyes of Carolyn Saacke, the chief operating officer for NYSE's capital-markets business. The capital-markets business oversees all IPOs and maintains relationships with the firms that are already listed on the NYSE.
Here's a backstage look at the wild day of an IPO:
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And so it begins.
Hollis Johnson The NYSE is housed in this historic building on the corner of Wall Street and Broad Street. Since the attacks on September 11, 2001, the street has been closed to traffic for security reasons. Additionally, all traders and guests for the IPO must now go through security checks.
The IPO of the day is e.l.f. Cosmetics — e.l.f. stands for eyes, lips, and face — a value cosmetics firm founded in 2004.