What Is the Nasdaq?

The Nasdaq Composite is one of the most widely followed indexes on Wall Street, and is used to measure the performance of the stock market.

Nasdaq Composite stock market information outside of Nasdaq building in New York City
(Image credit: Bloomberg /Getty Images)

"The Nasdaq" is a term market participants hear several times a day, but what exactly is "the Nasdaq"?

Typically, when an investor says "the Nasdaq," they're referring to the Nasdaq Composite, or IXIC. This is an index that tracks the performance of the Nasdaq Stock Market, an electronic platform used to buy and sell securities. And the Nasdaq Stock Market is run by financial services firm Nasdaq (NDAQ).

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Tom Taulli
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com

Tom Taulli has been developing software since the 1980s when he was in high school.  He sold his applications to a variety of publications. In college, he started his first company, which focused on the development of e-learning systems. He would go on to create other companies as well, including Hypermart.net that was sold to InfoSpace in 1996. Along the way, Tom has written columns for online publications such as Bloomberg, Forbes, Barron's and Kiplinger.  He has also written a variety of books, including Artificial Intelligence Basics:  A Non-Technical Introduction. He can be reached on Twitter at @ttaulli.