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What is the Nasdaq?

Nasdaq, which stands for the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation system, is a computerized system for stock trading.

How Does the Nasdaq Work?

The Nasdaq does not have a physical trading floor; it is entirely computerized. The exchange originally operated via telephone, but in 1970 it became computerized. The exchange lists about 5,000 stocks.

You often can tell whether a stock is listed on the Nasdaq (versus the New York Stock Exchange) by looking at its ticker symbol. Nasdaq stocks typically have four- or five-letter symbols (such as Microsoft: MSFT); NYSE stocks typically have three-letter ticker symbols (such as McDonalds's: MCD).

Why Does the Nasdaq Matter?

The New York Stock Exchange may be the world's most famous stock exchange, but the Nasdaq is equally important.

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Paul Tracy
Paul Tracy

Paul has been a respected figure in the financial markets for more than two decades. Prior to starting InvestingAnswers, Paul founded and managed one of the most influential investment research firms in America, with more than 3 million monthly readers.