What comes to mind when you hear the word "NASDAQ" or see it in print? Do you think of a global electronic marketplace for the buying and selling of stock? Do you think of a number, a market indicator, that tells you how well the stock market performed on a given day? Do you picture our market tower in Times Square, glowing bright and blue? Don't worry; there is no one answer. NASDAQ is all of these things and more.
NASDAQ began forty years ago at the National Association of Securities Dealers, or NASD. The NASD wanted to create a way for investors to buy and sell stocks on a computerized, transparent, and fast system. This would eliminate the burden and inefficiency of in-person stock transactions, which had been the prevalent model for nearly a century. The NASD believed that investors could make more money by closing the price gaps between buyers and sellers, and technology had evolved enough at that point to make it happen.
On February 8, 1971, the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation (NASDAQ) went live with median quotes for 2,500 over-the-counter securities. As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of electronic trading, we are proud that the revolutionary, disruptive model that the NASD developed in 1971 is now the standard for markets worldwide. In our early years, we gave growth companies the opportunity to raise capital that wasn’t previously available to them. Those companies (Intel, Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, Oracle, Dell, to name a few) used the capital raised on The NASDAQ Stock Market to make the cutting edge products that are now integral to our daily lives. These companies have also created millions of jobs around the world along the way.
Today, the NASDAQ OMX Group owns and operates 24 markets, 3 clearing houses, and 5 central securities depositories, spanning six continents--making us the world’s largest exchange company. Eighteen of our 24 markets trade equities. The other six trade options, derivatives, fixed income, and commodities. We are the largest single liquidity pool for US equities and the power behind 1 in 10 of the world’s securities transactions. Seventy exchanges in 50 countries trust our trading technology to power their markets, driving growth in emerging and developed economies.
NASDAQ OMX is also dedicated to designing powerful, relevant index and benchmark families that are in sync with the continually changing market environment. Utilizing the expanded coverage of our global footprint, NASDAQ OMX has nearly 2,000 diverse indexes that provide coverage across asset classes, countries and sectors. Not only do our indexes provide comprehensive insight into the global markets, but our unparalleled process, added value and competitive pricing set us apart from other indexers. Whether you are an institution, fund manager or private investor, NASDAQ OMX indexes are benchmarks that can help both influence and track investment strategies.
In 2006, NASDAQ completed its separation from the NASD and began to operate as a national securities exchange. The next year (2007), NASDAQ combined with the powerful Scandinavian exchange group OMX and officially became The NASDAQ OMX Group, further demonstrating its commitment to technology and innovation across global markets.
We are a public company listed on The NASDAQ Global Select Market (NDAQ) and part of the S&P 500 since 2008.