What Exactly is the Nasdaq?

The Nasdaq is a computerized system where securities are traded through an automated network. The name "Nasdaq" is an abbreviation for National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations. Newcomers are often confused when they hear phrases like "the Nasdaq is down today", but this refers to the Nasdaq Composite Index, which is a statistical measure of the market, not the automated network itself. If you are curious to know whether a company is listed on the Nasdaq or not, simply look for its four-letter ticker symbol.