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The volatility in the indices long ago was similar in magnitude to what it is today. The problem you are seeing in your plots is one of compounding and scaling. Think of it this way- back in the mid 70's the magnitude of NASDAQ pricing was around \$100. Today it is on the order of \$4000, a change of 40x. In linear terms, a 1% change in the index today ...


Always use a semi-logarithmic scale when looking at prices. It makes percentage moves of equal heights on your graphs.


SEC site showing Form 25 (delisting) filings from the last 4 years for all listing markets. As @user508 mentioned Nasdaq has then listed on their site here. NYSE lists them on their site here.

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