The , for decades a share index synonymous with fast-growing high-tech companies, is on a roll.
Steady growth over the last year has seen prices testing new highs, while the market is offering about $750 million to buy the Norwegian stock exchange.
Founded in 1971, NASDAQ has outlived the body from which it took its name, an acronym for the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations.
Bidding war under way
Now, it is one of the largest exchanges measured by market capitalisation in the world, listing companies whose names are synonymous with the ever-unfolding technological revolution.
Currently it is trading at 7,595.35, against 7,402.08 a month ago on 5 February. A year ago, on 5 March 2018, the index stood at 7,330.71, and five years ago, on 7 March 2014, it traded at 4,336.22.
Some of this buoyancy will reflect the natural optimism of the tech sector, which the NASDAQ has made its own; parts of the 100 index read like a who’s who of Silicon Valley-type enterprises: , , , , Google’s owner , and .
But despite its decades-long reputation as a key indicator of the health of the tech sector, the NASDAQ is open to any businesses other than financial companies. Twenty-First Century Fox is listed, as are and the hotel group ., ,
Matching the Euronext offer, Adena Friedman, NASDAQ’s chief executive, said: “We remain confident that our offer is the superior solution for the shareholders, members, issuers, investors and employees of Oslo Bors.”
Long recovery from dot-com bubble
“Euronext is strongly convinced of the benefits that its combination with Oslo Bors… would bring to all Norwegian stakeholders,” Euronext said. “Euronext’s model, capitalising on local strengths, identity and vibrant markets, fuels its ambition to finance the real economy, especially SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises], by providing them with access to the largest liquidity pool in Europe.”
Euronext was formed over a number of years from the merger of exchanges including those of Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, and Lisbon.
As a tech-heavy index, the NASDAQ 100 rode the so-called dot-com boom of the late Nineties, when any half-plausible internet-related idea seemed to find willing investors keen to hand over their money to the bright young things of the tech world. It peaked at 4,691.61 on 24 March 2000, at which point the bubble burst.
The National Association of Securities Dealers, a self-regulatory industry body, sold its interest in NASDAQ at the turn of the century and, following the financial crisis, was merged with the regulatory arm of the New York Stock Exchange to form a more powerful supervisor, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).