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The London Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange, which is owned by the TMX Group holding company, announced that they are merging, which will create one of the largest stock exchanges in the world, trading more than 6,700 companies. Will this be the beginning of more merger activity in stock exchange companies? If so, maybe it is time to look at the ones that are publicly traded.

NYSE Euronext, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates the New York Stock Exchange, Euronext and NYSE Arca. The stock trades at 15 times forward earnings and pays a yield of 3.7%.

The biggest American competitor to NYX is Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ) which trades on NASDAQ, of course. Although NASDAQ was founded in 1971, it went public in 2002. It is the largest electronic screen-based equity securities trading market in the United States and second-largest by market capitalization in the world. The stock has a forward P/E of 10.

IntercontinentalExchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE) operates regulated futures exchange and over-the-counter markets, and derivatives clearing exchanges. The stock trades at 20 times forward earnings.

CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CME) operates the CME, CBOT, NYMEX, and COMEX futures and options exchanges that trade futures contracts and options on futures contracts on interest rates, stock indexes, and other investments. The stock has a forward P/E ratio of 15 and sports a yield of 1.5%.

Disclosure: A relative of the author owns NYX.

Source: Four Top Stock Exchange Stocks