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Organization of brokers and securities dealers in the over-the-counter market operating under the auspices of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Its purpose is to enforce, on a self-regulating basis, the rules of the SEC, which are designed to protect investors against fraud and market manipulation of stocks. The NASD also publishes quotations of both national and regional stocks. Insurance agents selling variable life insurance, variable annuities and mutual funds are required to be licensed by the NASD.