NASDAQ, acronym for the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation system, is one of the largest markets in the world for the trading of stocks. The number of companies listed on NASDAQ is more than that on any of the other stock exchanges in the United States, including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the American Stock Exchange (AMEX). The majority of companies listed on NASDAQ are smaller than most of those on the NYSE and AMEX. NASDAQ has become known as the home of new technology companies, particularly computer and computer-related businesses. Trading on NASDAQ is initiated by stock brokers acting on behalf of their clients. The brokers negotiate with market makers who concentrate on trading specific stocks to reach a price for the stock.
Unlike other stock exchanges, NASDAQ has no central location where trading takes place. Instead, its market makers are located all over the country and make trades by telephone and via the Internet. Because brokers and market makers trade stocks directly instead of on the floor of a stock exchange, NASDAQ is called an over-the-counter market. The term over-the-counter refers to the direct nature of the trading, as in a store where goods are handed over a counter.
Since its inception in l97l, the NASDAQ Stock Market has been the innovator. As the world's first electronic stock market, NASDAQ long ago set a precedent for technological trading innovation that is unrivaled. Now poised to become the world's first truly global market, the NASDAQ Stock Market is the market of choice for business industry leaders worldwide. By providing an efficient environment for raising capital NASDAQ has helped thousands of companies achieve their desired growth and successfully make the leap into public ownership.