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What is NASDAQ?

NASDAQ is a global electronic stock exchange for buying and selling securities. Also provides the benchmark index for US technology stocks.

A key component of a free-market economy, the stock market gives companies access to capital in exchange for giving investors a piece of ownership, and for investors to potentially grow initial investments into larger sums of money if the company is successful. Selling a profitable stock is called a capital gain. Investors might also lose money if the company’s stock price goes down.

Today, stocks and their trades generally exist in electronic form. Trades happen through a stock exchange. NASDAQ is the second-largest stock exchange in the world, and also a leader in trading technology.

The term Nasdaq is also used to refer to the Nasdaq Composite, an index of more than 3,000 stocks listed on the NASDAQ exchange. This index includes technology and biotech companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Amazon, Intel, and Amgen.