NASDAQ Stock Exchange in theUnited States

The NASDAQ Stock Exchange is the second-largest stock exchange in the world by market capitalization. It specializes in listing technology companies, particularly Internet ventures. The acronym NASDAQ stands for National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations system; it is not an indication that any company listed on this exchange produces or sells dairy products. With a market capitalization of $11 trillion at the end of September 2018, the NASDAQ Stock Exchange is one of the largest and most prestigious stock exchanges worldwide. It has a dual-market structure with both specialist intermediaries and electronic trading systems as well as being an anonymous dealer market. Its main competitors are the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Big Board as well as other smaller exchanges such as BATS and NYSE Arca.


The NASDAQ Stock Exchange traces its origins to May 1971 when the NASD, the predecessor organization to the NASDAQ, was formed. In October 1972 the first shares traded on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange. The NASDAQ was conceived as a way to electronically link up the growing number of computerized securities trading systems in the US that were incompatible with each other. The NYSE was the natural choice to link up with, but NYNEX, an NYSE member, declined to join in and instead suggested that NASDAQ should hook up with them. In April 1973 the NASDAQ was linked to the NYSE's system and the first "retail" trades were executed. These were trades done by the general public, not brokers' transactions, and they were required to go through a broker. The trading of NASDAQ stocks at the time of their introduction was limited to members only. In December 1973 the NASDAQ was opened to the general public and a $1,000 minimum investment was introduced. The NYSE and NASDAQ were operating as fully autonomous exchanges, but by 1975 NYSE trading prices were being "printed" on the NASDAQ ticker. In July 1985 the two exchanges merged to form a single trading system. The New York Stock Exchange, however, retained its name and administrative offices in New York City at the corner of Wall and Broad Streets. At the time the exchange was renamed "NASDAQ" it was the only stock exchange listing computerized stocks.


The NASDAQ-100 Index is a stock market index that measures the performance of the largest non-financial companies listed on the NASDAQ. The NASDAQ-100 companies represent about 50% of the total value of the NASDAQ stock market index. The NASDAQ-100 Index is computed using a combination of the net asset value (NAV) of each company's stock and the number of shares outstanding. The net asset value is calculated by taking the company's total assets and subtracting off both its total liabilities and any cash in its coffers. The total number of shares outstanding is calculated by taking the company's number of shares and adding on any dividends paid out in the past year. The NASDAQ-100 is widely followed by investors as one measure of the health of the technology sector as a whole.

NASDAQ Composite Index

The NASDAQ Composite Index is a capitalization-weighted index of all stocks listed on the NASDAQ. It is used as a broad indicator of stock market performance and as a measure of investor sentiment in the U.S. equity market. The NASDAQ Composite Index is considered one of the most important indices tracking the state of the technology sector in the U.S. as well as the health of the economy in general. The index, along with the S&P 500 Index, is often viewed as a gauge of investor confidence in the economy. It is frequently reported in the press along with other financial market indices such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Russell 2000.

Trading hours for NASDAQ stocks

The trading hours of the NASDAQ Stock Exchange are Monday to Friday 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (ET) with pre-market trading between 9:30 a.m. and 9:51 a.m. and after-hours trading between 4 p.m. and 4:59 p.m. There are also end-of-day trading hours between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. The NASDAQ trading system is a continuous auction and stocks will be bought and sold at all times. The NASDAQ trading system operates in an anonymous dealer market. The NASDAQ system is an automated dealer auction market. The NASDAQ stock exchange has specialists who interact with the system to maintain the correct price for each stock. These specialists are market makers who are obligated to buy and sell their stock at specified prices. The NASDAQ system is the largest computerized stock exchange in the world.

Mergers and Acquisitions of NASDAQ Companies

The NASDAQ Stock Exchange is a highly liquid and efficient market with a low margin between purchase and sale prices. Companies are more likely to be acquired if they are listed on the NASDAQ because it is easier for a company to purchase them. Being listed on the NASDAQ also means that a company is more likely to be acquired.