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The history of Nasdaq from creation in 1971 to the present

By Brian Bollen

13:27, 19 May 2017

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Nasdaq is the largest US electronic stock market, listing more companies and, on average, trading more shares per day than any other US market.

It is home to companies that are leaders across all areas of business, including technology, retail, communications, financial services, transportation, media and biotechnology. NASDAQ is the primary market for trading NASDAQ-listed stocks.

The company's own account of its history contains a dazzling array of acclamation for achievements in its brief life to date. NASDAQ does not hide its light under a bushel. Rather it seems to believe that if you do not blow your own trumpet, no one else will.

NASDAQ says it has evolved dramatically from its beginnings in 1971 as primarily a US-based equities exchange.

Along the way, it says it transformed the world’s capital markets by engineering precedent-setting acquisitions, achieving groundbreaking progress, and empowering people to think differently and businesses to compete more effectively.


  • the vision: to connect business, capital and ideas to advance today’s global economies.
  • the mission: To provide market-leading technology solutions and

Intelligence to help businesses and investors succeed

NASDAQ operates one of the world’s largest networks of exchanges. This spans

  • 25 markets
  • one clearing house
  • five central securities depositories

Although today’s NASDAQ story began more than 40 years ago, it contains a rich history of the creation of financial and capital marketplaces throughout the world. As the company has grown, so has its heritage.

With the inclusion of several stock exchanges in the United States and Europe, NASDAQ’s heritage includes the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, the first exchange established in the US in 1790, the Copenhagen Exchange created in 1808, as well as the Boston Exchange launched in 1834.

NASDAQ says it enables customers to plan, optimise and execute their business vision with confidence, using proven technologies that provide transparency and insight for navigating today’s global capital markets.

NASDAQ services support the entire trade lifecycle

  • from pre-trade to post-trade risk management
  • access and connectivity
  • data
  • compliance
  • reporting and clearing

NASDAQ's markets trade multiple asset classes including

  • equities
  • options
  • futures
  • fixed-income
  • commodities
  • derivatives
  • structured products

Global Ventures

NASDAQ boasts that its delivery of the most innovative technology solutions has transformed capital markets around the world.

It says it has grown into a diversified financial technology, trading and information services provider to the capital markets, with more than 3,500 colleagues serving businesses and investors from over 50 offices in 26 countries across six continents.

It calculates that it now has tens of thousands of diverse indices that cross industry sectors, and cover asset classes spanning equities, options, futures, fixed-income, commodities, derivatives and structured products, with support provided for a trade’s entire lifecycle.

The results are global exchanges that currently list some companies, representing more than $US10.0 trillion and approximately 18,000 corporate clients.

NASDAQ is built around four complementary business segments

  • Tech
  • Trade
  • Intel
  • List

Founded: 1971

Address: One Liberty Plaza 165 Broadway New York, NY 10006


Number of companies listed: 3,800 in 35 countries at 3 March 2017

Market capitalisation: US$10 trillion-plus

President and chief executive officer: Adena Friedman

Opening hours: (all times US Eastern Standard Time)

Pre-Market: 4:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Regular Market: 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

After Market: 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Quotes and order entry available from 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. All quotes are open and firm from 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Closing price information reported externally by Nasdaq to market data vendors and the media is based on the price at 4:01 p.m. EST, when the market officially closes, and is not affected by other sessions.

Nordic trading hours vary from market to market and product to product.

Revenues: $2,277m in 2016, up from $1,895m in 2013

Net income: $621m in 2016, up from $484m in 2013

Best known indices: A vast spectrum of stock market indices is traded on NASDAQ, too many to list here. They range from XAX, the Amex Composite, VOLNDX, the DWS NASDAQ-100 Volatility Target Index and FTSEQ500, the FTSE NASDAQ 500 Index, to NDXE, the NASDAQ-100 Equal Weighted Index, VINX30, the VINX 30 and WLX, the Wilshere 5000.

Five biggest companies listed as of 8 May 2017: Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft,, Facebook. NASDAQ companies represent more than 90% of the Fortune 500.

Fun facts: Market Bell Ceremonies at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York’s Times Square are designed to serve as a platform to generate exposure for companies, make a news announcement or celebrate corporate milestones.

They are choreographed by a professional event planner; NASDAQ says each ceremony is carefully designed to showcase the company in question on the NASDAQ Webcam, MarketSite Tower and participating television networks.

These include CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Fox Business News and many others. Proper attire for the Bell Ceremony is business or business casual. No jeans or sneakers.

NASDAQ can point to what it describes as a remarkable legacy of industry launches and firsts

1790 First exchange in the US – Philadelphia Stock Exchange

1808 First exchange in the Nordics – Copenhagen Exchange

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1834 Boston Exchange launched

1971 First to invent electronic trading and the modern IPO – NASDAQ; NASDAQ Stock Exchange is created by the National Association of Securities Dealers and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

1985 Launch of NASDAQ100 Index

1987 Separates from National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD)

1989 First exchange to support Silicon Valley Innovators

1991 First to sell its technology to power other exchanges

First integrated derivatives trading and clearing system

1993 First US depth-of-book transparency with NQDS (Level 2 data)

1995 First to sell market technology to Asia and Hong Kong

First securities trading session in Latvia’s history organized by Riga Stock Exchange

First securities issue registered and settlement operation by Latvian Central Depository

1996 First to launch a financial website –

1997 First to offer its listed companies a 24/7 intelligence website – NASDAQ Online

First Baltic exchange to introduce continuous trading at variable prices – Riga Stock Exchange

2001 First US exchange to meet ISO 9001 standards

2002 First to offer a Market Intelligence Desk for listings

2003 First to own business solutions for listings

2004 First to offer dual listing

2005 First to create the world’s highest initial listing standards – NASDAQ Global Select Market

2007 The successor to the Philadelphia Stock Exchange is bought by NASDAQ, which also acquires OMX to form NASDAQ OMX Group

2008 First to launch an affinity programme for listed companies – NASDAQ OMX Advantage

2010 First US equity trading platform with a price-size priority model, which rewards size and liquidity - PSX

First to offer data on demand First Green Exchange in the world (Helsinki)

2011 First multi-asset risk management clearing platform in Europe

2012 First to offer a financial services-specific solution for data and infrastructure management in the cloud

First US exchange to apply FPGA technology to market data distribution

First North American exchange accepted into the United Nations Global Compact

2013 First technology provider to offer cloud-based storage for regulatory records retention

First to offer long-haul wireless connectivity using microwave technology

Basis for first cross-border Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) listed in China – the Guotai NASDAQ-100 ETF First ETF-listing exchange to launch a competitive payment for a market-making programme

Acquired Thomson Reuters’ investor relations, public relations and multimedia solutions businesses

Acquired eSpeed, the leading provider of electronic trading of US Treasury securities

2017 NASDAQ and Depósito Central de Valores (DCV) sign a new landmark agreement to bolster the technological infrastructure of Chile’s central securities depository


Our transformation has deep roots in a team of driven finance, technology and thought leadership experts who skillfully guide clients – from individuals and organisations to economies worldwide – to more informed trading, investment and valuation decisions, stronger business operations and maximum performance

Related stories

Top ten stock exchanges of the world

  1. New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
  2. NASDAQ (originally the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation exchange)
  3. London Stock Exchange (LSE)
  4. Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE)
  5. Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE)
  6. Hong Kong Stock Exchange (SEHK)
  7. Euronext
  8. Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE)
  9. Toronto Stock Exchange (TMX)
  10. Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FWB)

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