The NASDAQ is a contraction of the term National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations. This is an electronic market for the sale and purchase of publicly-traded securities, where brokers can enter into transactions online or over the phone; there is no trading floor. This system provides quotes for over-the-counter securities. Because this is an electronic market, no market specialists are used to buy unfilled orders, as occurs on other exchanges.
The NASDAQ is split into two parts. The NASDAQ National Market trades securities of larger issuers that experience high trading volumes. The NASDAQ Smallcap Market trades the securities of emerging growth companies.
The NASDAQ was founded by the National Association of Securities Dealers.