At the time of its founding by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) in 1971, the NASDAQ was one of the world's first electronically-operated stock exchanges. The exchange merged with Swedish exchange OMX (now NASDAQ Nordic) in 2007 and acquired the Philadelphia Stock Exchange the same year.

With more than 3000 companies listed, NASDAQ is one of the largest stock exchanges in the world. Unlike the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), which operates a trading floor and is an auction market, all trades on NASDAQ are performed remotely through the electronic trading system using a dealer market model.

Securities traded include equities, forex, commodities, options, futures, fixed income, derivatives and structured products.

The Nasdaq Composite index tracks the performance of stocks listed on the exchange.

Trading hours: Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET (UTC-5)
Pre-market trading hours: Monday through Friday 4:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET
After-market trading hours: Monday through Friday 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Settlement cycle: T+3

More on this topic:
Swiss online broker comparison
How to buy stocks: best trading tips
Stock trading: common pitfalls

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