Rise and Fall of Single-Letter Ticker Symbols

(This is completely random, so feel free to move on.) It has largely gone unremarked, but single-letter tickers have really gone out of vogue at the NYSE. While such tickers used to be the ultimate status symbol for upwardly-mobile blue-chip companies, now six such letters are unused — I, J, P, U, W, and Z — and the the value of the rest of the names have declined in relative importance.

Consider the following chart showing single-letter tickers as percentage of NYSE market capitalization over time:


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