LPL Opens NASDAQ on Historic Day in Stocks

LPL Opens NASDAQ on Historic Day in Stocks

Mark Casady and colleagues at LPL celebrate the opening of the NASDAQ exchange Monday morning.

I had the privilege of watching LPL Financial’s Chairman and CEO Mark Casady open the markets yesterday morning by ringing the NASDAQ opening bell, remotely from the firm’s annual advisor conference in Chicago. I had a front-row seat to the historic event, which was historic not so much because it was LPL’s second time ringing the bell (the first being in November when its IPO was announced), but because of what happened to the markets afterwards: the worst market selloff since the crisis.

During the day, the NASDAQ Composite plunged 6.9 percent to 2,357.69 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 5.55 percent and the S&P 500 fell 6.66 percent. The IBD’s stock was down 3.32 percent Monday.

Despite the anticipation that the markets would not perform well Monday, the mood during the opening bell ceremony was celebratory and positive, with executives smiling and clapping wildly for the cameras. I was thinking—“there’s not much to clap for today.”

Luckily, the stock market made somewhat of a comeback today, with the Dow up 3.98 percent and the S&P gaining 4.74 percent. Another piece of good news is that Steve Bartlett, president and CEO of The Financial Services Roundtable said the following:

The financial services industry remains strong. Our ability to serve our customers is unaffected by the recent downgrade by Standard & Poor. The reaffirmation from Moody's today and Fitch Ratings last week on their continued AAA ratings for the U.S. economy is both welcome and sound judgment.

Although LPL execs did not say much about the market turmoil and the S&P’s downgrade during their opening remarks yesterday, Casady did tell advisors that in times of volatility, it’s necessary to remain focused on your goals, with an eye on convictions, rather than predictions.

Meanwhile, in his opening remarks, Bill Dwyer, president of national sales and marketing for LPL Financial, called ringing the opening bell a “highly unique experience.” I’ll say, and one we’re all not likely to forget anytime soon.

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