NYSE Euronext (NYX) is ripping higher by more than 30% today on news that it will be purchased by IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) for a stock and cash deal worth $8.2 billion. The deal will give ICE, an operator of global futures exchanges and other OTC functions, control of one of the most venerable names in finance in the form of the New York Stock Exchange.
In a sign of the times, the NYSE is actually a relatively small portion of the deal for ICE. Physical exchanges are anachronisms, as much television studios as trading floors. This deal is about ICE getting NYSE Euronext's Liffe division, which is a leading market for derivative products.
The deal won't have an impact on the average equity investor. As my Breakout partner Matt Nesto says in the attached video, "most investors are exchange agnostic; they put in an order and in this day and age you don't know where it's going."
Reassuringly, the NYSE will remain a physical symbol and heart of American capitalism. As for where the work of trading is actually done, the world has moved from two folks yelling at one another in a pit, to computer data passing over the Internet.