Big Board Surges Ahead

NYSE shares hit a new record as deal with Euronext nears.
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It was a big day for the Big Board.

Shares of the

New York Stock Exchange

(NYX)

soared to a record high on Friday, rising more than 10% during the late afternoon.

Trading was frenzied in Big Board share. By day's end, over 11.8 million shares had changed hands. On a typical day, 1.7 million shares are traded.

The NYSE's previous record high came in March.

The

Nasdaq

I:IXIC

also made significant gains on Friday. Shares of the exchange rose $1.78, or 4.9% to $37.79.

A confluence of events contributed to NYSE's surge in share price.

The exchange's parent company, NYSE Group, is set to vote on its cross-Atlantic deal with Euronext in a few weeks.

The shares also may have gotten a boost from bullish comments by James Cramer on his 'MadMoney' television show on CNBC. Cramer, who is the co-founder and major shareholder of

TheStreet.com

, said the stock should rise to $250 in a couple of years.

NYSE's strategic initiatives also seem to be bearing fruit. Last month the exchange began to roll out its hybrid market, which combines electronic trading with auction-style floor trading.

NYSE is also continuing to cut costs. It plans to save $200 million in expenses from the acquisition with Archipelago and said it is on track to realize $100 of cost saves by the end of this year. On Wednesday, the exchange announced it would reduce its employee headcount by 17% by cutting 400 employees and 120 full-time consultants.

A spokesman from NYSE was not immediately available for comment.

Shares of NYSE rose $6.92, to $94.48, but fell 12 cents, to $94.36 in aftermarket trading.