As the world’s first ever electronic stock market, NASDAQ or “National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations” was dubbed the “stock market of the next 100 years”, upon its founding in February 8, 1971. This innovative system moved its way from a mere quotation system to a full fledged stock market. In the next few minutes, you will read about the beginnings of this exchange, to the present day status NASDAQ carries as the 2nd biggest exchange, not only in the United States but the world.

Start from the beginning.

Upon being founded by National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), NASDAQ had the attention of the investors and brokers alike. Investors loved NASDAQ for its ability to lower the spread or the difference between the bid price and the ask price of the stock. Most brokers were not as big fans, as this function lead to a cut of their profits, which came mainly from their ability to play with said spreads.

NASDAQEven though it didn’t allow electronic trades at first, with the additions of trade, volume reporting and automated trading systems, NASDAQ came into its own as a legitimate stock market. As the first stock market in the US to begin trading online, NASDAQ was able to quickly draw attention to the companies it traded. This development did not go wasted on new and upcoming companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Cisco and Dell.

While the main index of the company is the NASDAQ Composite, its exchange-traded fund has tracked the NASDAQ-100 index since its introduction in 1985. NASDAQ 100 which tracks the 100 largest companies (Market Cap) listed on NASDAQ, was also was released at the same time.

Ok. How about today?

Today NASDAQ resides at One Liberty Plaza on Broadway in New York City, NY. NASDAQ has established itself as the second largest stock exchange in Market Cap, only behind New York Stock Exchange. Divested by their founders NASD in series of sales in 2000 and 2001, Nasdaq Stock Market is now owned and operated by NASDAQ, Inc. After a merger with OMX in 2007, NASDAQ spread its reach to the Nordic countries, and expanded its global footprint under the new name of NASDAQ OMX Group.

Now days NASDAQ operates in 26 markets worldwide and the technology at the core of the exchange powers 90 marketplaces in 50 countries. NASDAQ Stock Market is the single largest liquidity pool for U.S. equities and handles one tenths of the world’s securities transactions.. NASDAQ also offers trading, clearing, settlement and depository services across cash equities, derivatives, fixed income, debt commodities, structured products, ETFs and other asset classes.

With $9,585 billion in Market Capitalization, and a monthly trade volume of $948 billion, NASDAQ is the easy to use, world leading electronic platform for investors. Even though NASDAQ Composite is believed to have hit its peak at March 10, 2010, due to the 78% fall in value in following years, the recent trends show a continuous growth and rise. If you want to put your money where your mouse is, NASDAQ provides the perfect place to let technology and electronic advances in finance aid you on your way to making your fortune.