The NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) is an electronic stock exchange with more than 3,300 company listings. It currently has a greater trading volume than any other U.S. stock exchange, carrying out approximately 1.8 billion trades per day. The NYSE is still considered the biggest exchange because its market capitalisation far exceeds that of the NASDAQ. The NASDAQ trades shares in a variety of companies, but is well known for being a high-tech exchange, trading many new, high growth, and volatile stocks. This is partially due to the fact that the listing fees on the NASDAQ are significantly lower than those for the New York Stock Exchange whose maximum price is only $150,000. The NASDAQ is a publicly owned company, trading its shares on its own exchange under the ticker symbol NDAQ.
The NASDAQ, as an electronic exchange, has no physical trading floor, but conducts all of its trades through a computer and telecommunications system. The exchange is a dealers' market, meaning brokers buy and sell stocks through a market maker rather than from each other. A market maker deals in a particular stock and holds a certain number of stocks on his own books so that when a broker wants to purchase shares, he can purchase them directly from the market maker.
The NASDAQ is located in New York's Times Square. The building is instantly recognisably by its large outdoor electronic display which provides up to the minute financial information 24 hours a day.
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