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As the world's largest electronic stock market, Nasdaq executes hundreds of millions of transactions daily. Nasdaq has a history of listing emerging companies that might not otherwise have access to capital markets.

The Nasdaq Stock Market began in 1968 as an electronic quotation service established by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). In 1971 it was reorganized as the world's first electronic stock market. In 1997 listing requirements were significantly upgraded, and Nasdaq split into the Nasdaq National Market (NasdaqNM) for large companies and the Nasdaq Small-Cap (NasdaqSC) for smaller ones. NasdaqSC has less stringent listing requirements than NasdaqNM. By 2002, in response to SEC concerns over conflicts of interest, the NASD had divested itself of all ownership in Nasdaq. Nasdaq is currently a for-profit publicly traded company listed on NasdaqNM as NDAQ.

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