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Nasdaq Composite Index

Nasdaq Composite Index

About Nasdaq Composite Index

The Nasdaq Composite Index, with ticker symbol .IXIC, is a broad market index that tracks the performance of almost all stocks listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. It's one of the most widely followed indexes in the world, alongside the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500. Here's a breakdown of its key features:

  • Composition: The Nasdaq Composite includes over 2,500 domestic and international companies listed on the Nasdaq.

  • Weighting: It's a market-capitalization-weighted index. This means the price movement of companies with larger market caps (total value of outstanding shares) has a bigger impact on the overall index value.

  • Focus: The Nasdaq Composite is heavily weighted towards technology stocks, followed by consumer discretionary and healthcare sectors. So, it's often seen as a bellwether for the tech industry's health.

What does the Nasdaq stand for?

Nasdaq originally stood for National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations.

It was initially an acronym used for the electronic trading system launched in 1971. Even though Nasdaq Inc. is now the separate entity that owns and operates the exchange, "Nasdaq" itself is commonly used to refer to the stock market.

What is the difference between Nasdaq and NYSE?

The Nasdaq and the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) are both major stock exchanges in the U.S., but they have some key differences:

Trading System:

  • Nasdaq:  This is a completely electronic exchange. Trades are executed through a network of market makers who compete with each other to provide buy and sell quotes.

  • NYSE:  This uses a hybrid model that combines electronic and open outcry auction systems. Traditionally, specialists (designated market makers) facilitated trades on the trading floor using a system of hand signals and vocalizations. However, most trading volume now occurs electronically.

Listing Requirements:

  • Nasdaq: Generally, companies listed on the Nasdaq tend to be younger and have a growth focus, particularly in sectors like technology, biotech, and consumer electronics. There are also less stringent listing requirements compared to the NYSE.

  • NYSE: The NYSE is known for established, blue-chip companies with a long history of profitability. Listing requirements are typically more stringent.

Market Capitalization:

  • NYSE: While the Nasdaq boasts higher daily trading volume, the NYSE holds the title for the world's largest stock exchange by total market capitalization of its listed companies.


  • Nasdaq: Often associated with innovation and high growth potential, but also with potentially higher volatility.

  • NYSE: Represents stability and a more mature market.

Here's a table summarizing the key differences:




Trading System


Electronic & Open Outcry

Listed Companies

Growth-oriented, Tech

Established Blue-Chips

Listing Requirements

Less Stringent

More Stringent

Market Capitalization




Innovation, Volatility


Here are some resources for further exploration:

  • Investopedia: What Does the Nasdaq Composite Index Measure? [Investopedia Nasdaq Composite]

  • Nasdaq:  Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) [Nasdaq Composite Index]

Nasdaq Composite Index


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