What it is:
How it works/Example:
The market capitalization) traded on the . This is computed using a modified weighting. Although firms with the largest market caps tend to have the largest influence on the index, their values are modified to keep any from having an "overwhelming" effect on the index results. The actual computation methods are proprietary to the Nasdaq.
Because it tracks stocks traded on the Nasdaq exchange, it is often considered a technology barometer despite the fact that many health care, biotech and service issues trade there as well. Though it was introduced in 1985, the tracking was formally launched near the height of the Internet bubble in March 1999. It has quickly become the most actively traded index on the market.
Why it matters:
The Nasdaq 100 is heavily weighted toward technology stocks, making it difficult to use as a gauge for the overall . This tech-heavy focus also makes the index extremely volatile compared to other indexes. Though the Nasdaq 100 generally follow the same trend as other indexes (such as the S&P 500), it is not uncommon for it to be twice as volatile as other indexes on strong up or down days.
The NASDAQ 100 trades under many forms. Hedge funds, day traders and personal investors often use the index as a means to speculate or hedge their portfolios. Because of its wide usage, the Nasdaq 100 is one of the most heavily traded indexes on the planet.