Head over to the Wall Street Journal for an article by Jason Zweig on the shrinking number of listed equities. This development may be related to the struggles of active managers to compete with passive index strategies.
"For stock pickers, differentiating among the remaining choices is “an even harder game”
than it was when the market consisted of twice as many companies, says Michael
Mauboussin, an investment strategist at Credit Suisse in New York who wrote a report
this spring titled “The Incredible Shrinking Universe of Stocks.”
That’s because the surviving companies tend to be “fewer, bigger, older, more profitable
and easier to analyze,” he says — making stock picking much more competitive."