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The tech-heavy Nasdaq is located right here in Silicon Valley today. San Jose City Hall hosted the opening bell this morning and will also be home to the closing bell this afternoon.
Silicon Valley is home to 203 of the 513 Nasdaq companies, so you could make the argument the opening bell should happen here everyday.
The mostly ceremonial marking of time usually happens in New York City, but on occasion, a team of engineers and the Nasdaq president hit the road. That is what is happened Tuesday.
The San Jose City Hall rotunda transformed into a sea of yellow t-shirt before dawn as hundreds of employees of Palo Alto-based Financial Engines crammed in for the opening bell.
Financial Engines is the country's latest IPO.
Financial Engines may be new to the stock market, but it's been around since 1996. The company's financial officers were in New York City as late as last night, completing the "road show" for the IPO, only to hurry back to open the NASDAQ here in Silicon Valley.
The company provides financial advice for retirement.
The IPO and the live open were a co-incidence. NASDAQ had planned to broadcast the close with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, but the open with Financial Engines was truly last minute.
"The timing is remarkable" said NASDAQ OMX CEO Bob Griefeld.
The real reason the NASDAQ is in San Jose is to celebrate its 20-year anniversary of its presence in Silicon Valley. The NASDAQ opened its first office in Palo Alto exactly 20 years ago.
Nasdaq Vice President Bruce Aust said he's proud the Nasdaq had the foresight to establish a presence in the South Bay at a time when when many of today's major office parks were still fruit orchards.
"We are also proud to have served as the capital formation engine for so many Valley companies who have truly changed the world." Aust said. "The Silicon Valley area is a unique eco-system that cities all over the world have tried to emulate, and we will continue to play an important role in that growth well into the future."
Right now, there are 28 companies in Silicon Valley that are part of the Nasdaq-100 index, and seven of those are headquartered in San Jose.
During the remote closing bell ceremony, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed will deliver a proclamation naming March 16, 2010 "Nasdaq Day" in honor of the company’s historic significance, economic achievements supporting the Bay Area market, and plans for future growth.
Both the 6:30 a.m. event and the 1:30 p.m. event will be broadcast live in Nasdaq's seven-story high Times Square tower as well as on CNBC, Fox Financial and any other media outlet who cares to take the feed. Check out video of the closing bell below.