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Key Factors

  • The Nasdaq is a serious, world inventory trade, supporting greater than 1 billion world purchase and promote orders every day the market is open.
  • Whereas the Nasdaq is historically related to main tech shares due to its introduction of the digital market mannequin, any non-financial firm could also be listed on the trade.
  • It was the world’s first use of the digital market mannequin 
  • 5 shares we like higher than Apple

The Nationwide Affiliation of Securities Sellers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ) is a worldwide inventory trade, a market the place merchants purchase and promote securities. Formally opened in 1971, the Nasdaq made historical past as the primary digital, world market trade, offering beforehand unheard-of accessibility to main markets. Although its design initially confronted skepticism, it’s now the world’s largest trade for public tech and computer-based corporations.

Learn on to study extra in regards to the historical past and way forward for Nasdaq, what separates it from the inventory trade historical past of different main markets — and what you must know as an investor to make use of this trade successfully. 

What’s the Nasdaq?

The Nasdaq is a inventory trade situated in New York Metropolis. Its major perform is to supply expanded, digital entry to asset buying and selling, together with shares, choices contracts, futures contracts and different monetary devices like exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and fixed-income merchandise.

Not like conventional inventory exchanges, the place buying and selling happens on a bodily buying and selling ground, the Nasdaq was distinctive as a result of it launched an digital market. Which means as an alternative of requiring merchants to file their trades on a bodily buying and selling ground, merchants might use a web-based market to enter purchase and promote orders independently and from anyplace. This setup permits for quicker execution of trades and higher accessibility for traders worldwide — most main world monetary markets now use a web-based buying and selling system impressed by the Nasdaq.

The Historical past of the Nasdaq

The Nasdaq was based by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) on February 8, 1971. It was the world’s first use of the digital market mannequin, introducing a computerized buying and selling system that allowed for quicker and extra environment friendly buying and selling in comparison with conventional floor-based exchanges.

The Nasdaq grew quickly through the Nineteen Eighties and Nineteen Nineties, notably through the dot-com growth of the late Nineteen Nineties. Many know-how corporations, particularly these within the web and software program sectors, selected to record on the Nasdaq, resulting in its status as a hub for high-growth and progressive corporations. In the present day, the Nasdaq is informally often known as the “tech trade inventory market,” a nod to its increased focus of know-how startups. 

Over time, the Nasdaq underwent numerous regulatory adjustments and enhancements to reinforce market integrity and enhance investor confidence. It instituted an inventory of necessities that corporations should meet to be listed, just like the NYSE’s required for corporations to “go public.” It additionally created a number of market indexes, together with the Nasdaq Composite Index, which tracks the efficiency of all shares listed on the trade.

How the Nasdaq Operates

In the event you’ve ever used a web-based dealer to purchase or promote shares of inventory, you’re already accustomed to the fundamentals of how the Nasdaq operates. The Nasdaq operates as an digital buying and selling platform the place securities’ trades are executed electronically by computerized programs. This eliminates the necessity for bodily buying and selling flooring and permits for quicker and extra environment friendly transactions. It additionally makes the market extra accessible — due to the distinctive framework set in place by the Nasdaq, you may commerce from world wide as long as you’ve on-line entry. 

The Nasdaq trade makes use of a central processing system to execute, observe and handle trades. This centralized mannequin enhances transparency and worth discovery by consolidating buying and selling actions in a single platform. Orders positioned on the Nasdaq are matched mechanically primarily based on worth and time precedence. Which means one of the best accessible purchase order is matched with one of the best accessible promote order, making certain environment friendly order execution, minimized spreads and fewer delays.

Earlier than introducing the Nasdaq’s digital trade mannequin, conventional inventory exchanges relied on ground buying and selling, the place merchants bodily gathered on a buying and selling ground to execute orders. In distinction, the Nasdaq’s digital mannequin eliminates the necessity to commerce in a bodily location, permitting for quicker order processing and accessibility to a worldwide viewers. Following the introduction of this mannequin, different exchanges adopted and launched their very own on-line market. 

The Significance of the Nasdaq Composite Index

In the event you’d wish to shortly perceive the course that the Nasdaq is shifting on any specific day, take a look at the Nasdaq Composite Index. The Nasdaq Composite Index is a market-capitalization-weighted index that features greater than 2,500 shares listed on the Nasdaq trade. Some giant names included within the index that you simply may be accustomed to embrace Apple NASDAQ: AAPL, Microsoft NASDAQ: MSFT and Tesla NASDAQ: TSLA

With so many high-profile corporations, it’s simple to see why the Nasdaq Composite Index is a vital indicator of total financial well being. It’s notably helpful as a benchmark to trace the tech sector’s efficiency, making it a extra risky index when in comparison with different established indexes just like the S&P 500. 

There are particular standards that shares should meet to be listed within the index, together with: 

  • Being a standard inventory, monitoring inventory or American depository receipt (ADR) at present listed on the Nasdaq. REITs and ETFs are excluded from consideration. 
  • The corporate should not be categorised as a monetary firm.
  • Every safety should have a minimal common each day buying and selling quantity of 200,000 shares, calculated each quarter. 

Main Milestones in Nasdaq’s Historical past

The Nasdaq trade’s historical past dates again to 1971, when it was formally launched by the Nationwide Affiliation of Securities Sellers (NASD). Nonetheless, the Nasdaq trade didn’t open to retail traders till 1980, when a real-time “Degree 2” information feed was launched. This leveled the enjoying discipline between traders, offering real-time updates on bid-ask spreads. 

By the mid-Nineteen Eighties, the digital trade was absolutely operational, and its mannequin of permitting traders to commerce shares electronically appealed to these exterior of New York particularly. One of the important Nasdaq milestones within the Nineteen Eighties was Microsoft’s preliminary public providing in 1986. Microsoft selected the Nasdaq as its buying and selling trade, lending main legitimacy to the comparatively new trade. 

The late Nineteen Nineties noticed a surge in know-how shares, with many dot-com corporations itemizing on the Nasdaq. Fast investor curiosity and market overvaluation led to the constructing of the dot-com bubble; the Nasdaq index rose 86% in 1999 alone. Ultimately, the bubble “burst” in 2005—the Nasdaq index fell to 1,139.90 items in a single day on October 4th, crashing 77% from its peak worth. 

Nasdaq’s Position within the Tech Business

Whereas the Nasdaq is informally often known as the “tech trade,” it doesn’t restrict its inclusion to solely know-how shares — any non-financial inventory might qualify for inclusion. Nonetheless, tech corporations are keen on the Nasdaq for a number of causes. In its inception, the Nasdaq had comparatively versatile itemizing necessities in comparison with different exchanges, permitting youthful and growth-focused corporations to record their shares. This flexibility and the Nasdaq’s distinctive digital buying and selling mannequin attracted progressive corporations trying to increase capital and acquire visibility available in the market.

Tech corporations have significantly influenced the Nasdaq’s efficiency attributable to their market capitalizations, buying and selling volumes and influence on sector-specific indexes just like the Nasdaq-100. Whereas the rules and necessities to record on the trade have expanded since its inception, its early entry through the tech growth of the 1990’s and 2000’s led to main market makers being listed on and influencing the trade. 

Sooner or later, the Nasdaq is predicted to be a recurring hub for innovation and tech-forward IPOs. Waystar Applied sciences, Databricks and BMC Software program are three expectant tech IPOs more likely to be listed on the Nasdaq trade. These corporations, together with newer tech choices and the continued progress of main names like, are projected to assist the Nasdaq attain new heights in 2024 and past. 

Past 2024, the Nasdaq is anticipated to be the introductory sphere for a wide range of new tech developments. Synthetic intelligence, blockchain know-how and biotechnology corporations are more likely to record on the Nasdaq due to its status as a long-standing trade for innovation. Regulatory adjustments, particularly relating to information privateness and using blockchain, will have to be repeatedly monitored to make sure company longevity. 


The Nasdaq is a serious, world trade related to cutting-edge know-how, and it’s more likely to stay dominant on this trade. Whereas this primary Nasdaq overview supplies you with the fundamentals of the Nasdaq and the way it works, you may proceed to study extra by exploring the shares included on the trade and within the Nasdaq-100. This market capitalization-weighted index will introduce you to a few of the most influential market makers additionally discovered on the trade.

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