IntercontinentalExchange (ICE +1.9%) is set to win unconditional approval from EU regulators for its $8.2B purchase of NYSE Euronext (NYX +1.7%), reports Reuters. ICE actually took care of possible conditions ahead of time, announcing in March it would cap trading fees for 5 years on soft commodities at the Liffe should the merger go through.
Euronext (NYX) exchanges in France, Belgium, Portugal and the Netherlands have opened after trading was delayed because of technical problems. European indices diverge from U.S. and Asian markets, and are mostly higher ahead of policy decisions at the BOE and ECB. EU Stoxx 50 +0.2%, London +0.2%, Paris +0.2%, Frankfurt +0.2%, Madrid +0.6%, Milan -0.2%.
It took the market a few minutes to figure it out, but the ICE/NYSE deal puts a bulls eye on the back of the CME, now -3%. NYSE has tried and failed to challenge the Chicago derivatives operator, but ICE - which built a serious competitor to CME in what seems like the blink of an eye - has expertise the Big Board doesn't have. ICE -2.6%, NYX +31.5%.
More on the ICE/NYSE hookup: Following the purchase, ICE plans to try and spin off Euronext - NYX's European stock exchange operation. The "crown jewel" of this deal is NYX's European derivatives operation - the Liffe, and ICE just paid a lot to get it. CME Group +0.2% premarket. ICE -4.1% premarket, but has been halted since 90 minutes before the official announcement. NYX remains halted.
NYSE Euronext (NYX +4.1%) moves higher after its Q4 earnings beat and detailing a plan to cut expenses, expand electronic trading services and apply a more disciplined approach to capital management. Further dealmaking also remains on the table in the wake of the scuttled merger with Deutsche Boerse. FT considers a potential alliance with LCH.Clearnet.
The EU is set to nix the NYSE Euronext/Deutsche Boerse merger. The exchanges have signaled they are committed to seeing the process through and are engaging in a vigorous lobbying campaign to reverse the decision. NYX +3.5%, DBOEY.PK +3.5%.
Weight Watchers (WTW +8.4%) jumped after announcing deals with NYSE Euronext (NYX) and American Express (AXP) that will allow employees of those companies to sign up for the program and have all or part of it paid for by their employer. The news actually came out on Jan. 3, but traders didn't seem to notice until today.
NYSE Euronext, a Delaware corporation, was organized on May 22, 2006 in anticipation of the combination of the businesses of NYSE Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and Euronext N.V., a company organized under the laws of the Netherlands. The combination was consummated on April 4, 2007. NYSE...More