WALL STREET: The Coming of F

Onto the New York Stock Exchange's big ticker screens one morning last week flashed a cryptic legend: "F 135 62." Immediately, the cavernous trading room erupted with cheers and popping flashbulbs. The symbol "F," unused since Consolidated Vultee Aircraft gave it up two years ago, now belonged to the Ford Motor Co., which at 10:02 a.m. on Wednesday began its first day of stock trading on the big board.

Before it arrived in the big time, Ford stock, held by 350,000 people, had been through seven weeks of seasoning on the over-the-counter market, a settling-down period required by the Exchange...

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