Originally (beginning 1973) tracking just the 100 largest stocks, since 1996 the number reported
represents all of the exchange's listed issues. Commonly thought of as the "tech-company"
index, the NASDAQ actually includes thousands of small companies from every industry that do not
financially qualify for a New York Stock Exchange listing.
The 100 largest companies trading on the NASDAQ, the dominant one being Microsoft, whose stock
currently accounts for about 10% of this index. You can trade it as the stock QQQ.
To qualify for a listing, the company must have been a public corporation for at least two years,
trade at least 100,000 shares average per day, and have a market cap in the top 100 of the Nasdaq stocks.
If a company’s market cap falls below the 100 largest, it is given one year to come back up.
The largest Nasdaq 100 companies are Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, Oracle, Dell Computer, Amgen,
Qualcomm, Sun Microsystems, Comcast, Applied Materials, and Costco.
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