NASDAQ: Taking Stock of its History

The NASDAQ television studio in Times Square, New York City.
(Photo by Luis Villa Del Campo via Wikimedia Commons)

On this date in 1971, trading began on the NASDAQ stock market.

Here are some things you may not have known about what is now the second-largest stock exchange in the world.

Originally, NASDAQ was an acronym that stood for “National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations.”

It was the first electronic stock market, but served only a quotation system, and didn’t provide a way to perform electronic trades. Its implementation helped lower the spread between the bid price and the asking price, which made it unpopular with brokers, who made a lot of money taking advantage of the spread.

Eventually most of the major trades that had been executed over the counter were being made using the NASDAQ market. As late as 1987, the NASDAQ was commonly used as an index for over-the-counter stocks.

The exchange made a special effort to focus on technology companies, and became the trading home of Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, and Oracle among others.

In 1996, the NASDAQ became the first stock exchange to launch a website. Since its founding, the NASDAQ has an annualized growth rate of 9.18 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has a growth rate of 7.02 percent. Since the end of the Great Recession in 2009, the NASDAQ index is up by a rate of 15.95 percent.

Our question: Where was the first stock exchange in the United States?

Today is unofficially Boy Scouts Day, National Kite Flying Day, and National Molasses Bar Day.

It’s the birthday of writer Jules Verne, who was born in 1828; chemist Demitri Mendeleyev, who was born in 1834; and actor James Dean, who was born in 1931.

This week in 1971, the top song in the U.S. was “One Bad Apple” by The Osmonds.

The No. 1 movie was “Love Story,” while the novel it was based on by Erich Segal topped the New York Times Bestsellers list.

Weekly question: What country did the world’s longest-reigning monarch rule over?

Submit your answer at and we’ll add the name of the person with the first correct answer to our winner’s wall … at We’ll have the correct answer on Friday’s episode.



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