"Nasdaq" was initially an
acronym for the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations. It was founded in 1971 by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), now known as the
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). On February 8, 1971, the Nasdaq stock market began operations as the world's first electronic stock market. At first, it was merely a "quotation system" and did not provide a way to perform electronic trades.
The NASDAQ Stock Market eventually assumed the majority of major trades that had been executed by the
over-the-counter (OTC) system of trading, but there are still many securities traded in this fashion. As late as 1987, the Nasdaq exchange was still commonly referred to as "OTC" in media reports and also in the monthly Stock Guides (stock guides and procedures) issued by
Standard & Poor's Corporation. Over the years, it became more of a stock market by adding trade and volume reporting and automated trading systems. In 1981, Nasdaq traded 37% of the U.S. securities markets' total of 21 billion shares. By 1991, Nasdaq's share had grown to 46%. In 1992, the Nasdaq Stock Market joined with the
London Stock Exchange to form the first intercontinental linkage of
capital markets. In 1998, it became the first stock market in the United States to trade online, using the slogan "the stock market for the next hundred years". The Nasdaq Stock Market attracted many companies during the
In a series of sales in 2000 and 2001, FINRA sold its stake in the Nasdaq. On July 2, 2002, Nasdaq Inc. became a
public company via an
initial public offering. In 2006, the status of the Nasdaq Stock Market was changed from a stock market to a licensed national securities exchange. In 2007, it merged with OMX, a leading exchange operator in the Nordic countries, expanded its global footprint, and changed its name to the NASDAQ OMX Group.
To qualify for listing on the exchange, a company must be registered with the
United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), must have at least three
market makers (financial firms that act as brokers or dealers for specific securities) and must meet minimum requirements for assets, capital, public shares, and shareholders.
In February 2011, in the wake of an announced merger of
NYSE Euronext with
Deutsche Börse, speculation developed that NASDAQ OMX and
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) could mount a counter-bid of their own for NYSE. NASDAQ OMX could be[when?] looking to acquire the American exchange's cash equities business, ICE the
derivatives business. At the time, "NYSE Euronext's market value was $9.75 billion. Nasdaq was valued at $5.78 billion, while ICE was valued at $9.45 billion." Late in the month, Nasdaq was reported to be considering asking either ICE or the
Chicago Mercantile Exchange to join in what would probably have to be, if it proceeded, an $11–12 billion counterbid.
The European Association of Securities Dealers Automatic Quotation System (EASDAQ) was founded as a European equivalent to the Nasdaq Stock Market. It was purchased by NASDAQ in 2001 and became NASDAQ Europe. In 2003, operations were shut down as a result of the burst of the
dot-com bubble. In 2007, NASDAQ Europe was revived first as Equiduct and was acquired by
Börse Berlin later that year.
In December 2020, NASDAQ announced that it would strip its indexes of four Chinese companies in response to
Executive Order 13959.
Nasdaq 100 futures are traded on the
CME (Chicago Merchantile Exchange) while its derivatives, E-Mini Nasdaq 100 and Micro E-Mini Nasdaq 100 futures are traded on the EMiniCME. Below are the contract specifications for the nasdaq 100 and derivatives.
The Nasdaq Stock Market has three different market tiers:
Capital Market (NASDAQ-CM
small cap) is an equity market for companies that have relatively small levels of market capitalization. Listing requirements for such "small cap" companies are less stringent than for other Nasdaq markets that list larger companies with significantly higher market capitalization.
Global Market (NASDAQ-GM
mid cap) is made up of stocks that represent the Nasdaq Global Market. The Global Market consists of 1,450 stocks that meet Nasdaq's strict financial and liquidity requirements, and corporate governance standards. The Global Market is less exclusive than the Global Select Market.
Global Select Market (NASDAQ-GS
large cap) is a market capitalization-weighted index made up of US-based and international stocks that represent the
NASDAQ Global Select Market Composite (NQGS). The Global Select Market consists of 1,200 stocks that meet Nasdaq's strict financial and liquidity requirements and corporate governance standards. The Global Select Market is more exclusive than the Global Market. Every October, the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Department reviews the Global Market Composite to determine if any of its stocks have become eligible for listing on the Global Select Market.