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Stock exchanges of the US market and their differences

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Created on
March 31, 2023


What’s Inside

If you’ve always wanted to invest in American stocks, it can help first to get to know the different U.S. stock exchanges. As of February 2023, there are 13 registered exchanges currently operational in the U.S. However, only two of them — the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System (Nasdaq) — are the major exchanges in the country.

Both NYSE and the Nasdaq facilitate trading listed U.S. stocks between buyers and sellers. In addition to U.S. stocks, you can also actively trade in other instruments like derivatives, commodities, and bonds on these two U.S. stock exchanges.

NYSE and Nasdaq: A Closer Look at the Two Titans

Founded in 1790, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is headquartered at 68 Wall Street, New York. Around 24 merchants and stockbrokers came together and signed an agreement known as the Buttonwood Agreement, setting the stage for establishing the stock exchange. Despite such a humble beginning, the NYSE grew meteorically and is currently the world’s largest exchange, with more than 2,400 listed companies and an average trading volume of $123 billion per day.

The other U.S. stock exchange, Nasdaq, is relatively younger than the NYSE. Established in 1971, it was the first of the U.S. stock exchanges to introduce fully electronic trading. Currently, the Nasdaq is the second largest exchange in the world, with over 3,500 listed companies and a trading volume of more than $90 billion per day as of February 22, 2023.

NYSE vs Nasdaq: How do They Compare?

Now that you’ve been introduced to these two exchanges let’s analyse some of the key differences between them.





Established in 1790 

Established in 1971

Market Capitalization

Largest stock exchange in terms of market capitalization

Second largest stock exchange in terms of market capitalization

Type of Market

An auction market, where buyers and sellers can directly participate in the stock trading process

A dealer’s market, where dealers (stockbrokers or banks) trade in stocks on behalf of the buyers and sellers 

Primary U.S. Stock Exchange Index

NYSE Composite 

Nasdaq Composite

Nature of Trading Supported

Both open floor (physical) trading and electronic trading

Only electronic trading 

Range of Listing Fee Charged

Can go up to $500,000

Usually ranges from $50,000 to $75,000 

Type of Companies Listed

Predominantly large-cap and fundamentally strong companies and fewer mid-cap and small-cap companies (due to higher listing fees)

Primarily growth stocks, mid-cap, and small-cap companies (due to the low fee requirements) 


Trades not very volatile 

Trades tend to be more volatile

Trade on US Stock Exchanges from India

With this, you should now be aware of the two major U.S. stock exchanges — the NYSE and Nasdaq. When dealing with U.S. stocks, remember that the stocks listed on Nasdaq are usually more volatile than the ones on NYSE. So, if you’re planning on investing for the long term, you may want to look at the stocks listed on the NYSE. On the other hand, if you’re interested in short-term trading, the Nasdaq may be a more suitable exchange.

Whatever your goal, Fi Money can help you invest in U.S. stocks seamlessly. With unique features like in-app explainers, curated collections, and useful filters, Fi makes investing in American stocks simple and easy. You can even invest in your preferred U.S. stocks without having to pay any brokerage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the main American stock exchange?

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is widely considered to be the primary American stock exchange.

2. How many stock exchanges are in the US?

Currently, the list of U.S. stock exchanges consists of 13 entities. Out of these 13, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System (Nasdaq) are the two major and most popular exchanges.


Investment and securities are subject to market risks. Please read all the related documents carefully before investing. The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and not to be taken as a recommendation to buy or sell securities, mutual funds, or any other financial products.
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