Many people use the Dow and the Nasdaq interchangeably when it comes to aspects of the market. Though both are indexes that investors can use when it is related to the market, they do have differences between them. The Dow is referring to the Dow Jones Industrial Average or DIJA. Nasdaq is an abbreviation referring to the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations. Between the two, the Nasdaq is more extensive, for it can be used as an index or an exchange, while the Dow is only an index. This index is for about 30 companies in total. Another difference between the two is how long they have been around. The Dow was established in 1896, while the Nasdaq was established in 1971.