This Day In Market History: Nasdaq Opens For Business


Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened? On Feb. 8, 1971, the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation was launched.

Where Was The Market? The S&P 500 was at 97.45 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 882.12.

What Else Was Going On? In 1971, Charles Manson was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death, and Walt Disney Co DIS opened Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. A gallon of gas cost 40 cents.

NASDAQ Opens Its Doors: The NASDAQ was founded in 1971 by the National Association of Securities Dealers. When it opened for trading in February 1971, the NASDAQ was the first fully automated stock market in the world. It originated as a quotation system for stock prices but soon allowed for electronic trading as well. The Nasdaq went on to become the first U.S. market to allow online trading and assumed most of the trading that was previously conducted over-the-counter.

During the tech boom of the 1980s and 1990s, the Nasdaq became the primary exchange for companies like Microsoft Corporation MSFT, Cisco Systems, Inc. CSCO and, Inc. AMZN.

The NASDAQ Composite started with just 50 companies in 1971. Today, the Nasdaq is home to more than 2,800 stocks, including the world’s most valuable company: Apple Inc. AAPL.

Investors can even take their own stake in Nasdaq Inc NDAQ, which currently trades at a market cap of more than $29.6 billion.

Photo: Luis Villa del Campo/Wikimedia. 

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