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An advertisement detailing a new issue of a security. Most importantly, the tombstone lists the underwriting syndicate responsible for placing the new issue with investors. Tombstones list the syndicate according to bracket, which is a place on a hierarchy indicating how much of an issue each individual underwriter is placing with respect to the others. The brackets are called, from largest to smallest: bulge bracket, major bracket, minor bracket, underwriter, and selling group. A tombstone derives its name because, in print, it looks vaguely like a stereotypical tombstone from the Old West.
An advertisement for a securities issue. The ad lists the security, some of the security's specifics, and a bracketed list of the members of the syndicate selling the issue in the order of the members' importance. The term derives from the fact that the notice appears as a matter of record after the sale has been completed.