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Nymex Belts a Double

The IPO touches $152 before settling at $133.

Updated from 2 p.m.

Shares in the red hot



initial public offering blasted off Friday morning and didn't look back.

The commodity exchange's stock more than doubled in early trading from Thursday's above-range pricing. Shares hit an early high of $152 after opening around 10 a.m. EST before falling back a bit.

The stock closed at $133, putting it up 125% on the day and making it the best-performing IPO of the year.


raised $384 million Thursday evening in pricing its IPO at $59. The pricing came above the expected range of $54 to $57 a share, indicating strong demand.

Dealogic said that until Friday, teh IPO with the biggest first day gain was

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, which merely doubled its first day out.

The Nymex surge is reminiscent of early pops seen in the heyday of the tech bubble. The stock easily could be the top performing initial offering of the year. It is certainly one of the hottest IPOs to hit Wall Street since

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surged 20% in its opening day of trading in August 2004.

To be sure, some of the gain in Nymex can be attributed to the fact that the commodities and futures exchange sold just 6.5 million shares to the public. The relatively small offering created an obvious imbalance between supply and demand for the stock.

Still, just about everyone on Wall Street was expecting a stellar debut.

"We were not at all surprised, especially with the kind of potential this organization has,'' says David Menlow, president of IPO Financial Network.

Shares in Nymex Holdings, the parent company of the 134-year-old commodities and futures exchange that specializes in energy trading, are benefiting from the strong performance of other exchanges that have gone public in recent years. These include the

Chicago Mercantile Exchange

(CME) - Get CME Group Inc. Class A Report

and the

InterContinental Exchange

(ICE) - Get Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE) Report

. And the Nymex is one of the last big exchanges to go public.

The CME has been the top performing stock in the exchange sector, rising more than 1,300% since its debut in December 2002. The CME's opening day performance was rather modest, as the stock rose 23% from its $35 IPO price. Shares of the CME recently fetched $534.

With about 89 million shares outstanding, Nymex began the trading Friday with a market cap of $5.25 billion. Now, it's around $12 billion.