'Mad Money' Spotlight: Cramer's Exchanges

ICE, CME and NYX all top Cramer's list of financial exchanges.
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Jim Cramer thinks ICE is hot.

Well, as he explained on "Mad Money" last night, what's hot are the

Intercontinental Exchange

(ICE) - Get Report

, along with the

CME Group

(CME) - Get Report

and

NYSE Euronext

(NYX)

-- all of which are squarely on his list of most-beloved exchanges.

On the heels of his endorsement, both the CME and ICE finished the day in positive territory, up nearly 2% and 5% respectively. Both futures exchanges unveiled their volumes numbers today, and investors must have liked what they heard.

ICE, the second biggest futures market in the country, said it saw an 11% jump in May's average daily volume, as compared to May of 2008. The Atlanta-based operation said ADV came to 967,182 contracts for the month.

Total volume also increased to 20.1 million contracts. That's up 6% percent as compared to the same period last year.

CME, the largest futures exchange, pleased the Street and sent some analysts racing to raise earnings estimates following its announcement. The Chicago-based concern had an average daily volume of 10.7 million contracts in May. Though that's down 15% from May 2008, it's still 17% better than last month.

In all, the operation realized 214 million contracts in May.

Meanwhile, NYSE Euronext, the parent of the New York Stock Exchange, closed in the red, down nearly 2% to $30.50 at the bell. In late April, the organization said its profit had fallen 54%. But because of some cost-cutting measures, which helped to streamline many of NYSE Euronext's acquisitions over the years, its earnings still beat expectations.

The share price has yet to see the highs reached prior to NYSE Euronext's acquisition of the American Stock Exchange about a year ago.

Last week, word trickled out from U.K. regulators that NYSE Euronext's derivatives operation got a preliminary thumbs up to launch its main derivatives clearing counterparty in London. The operation, called NYSE Liffe Clearing, will begin operations on July 27.

But while U.S. lawmakers are discussing plans to bring derivatives oversight under federal jurisdiction, the NYSE Euronext also announced plans to offer index futures on NYSE Liffe US, a new derivatives exchange. Regulatory reform proposals put forth last month may force over-the-counter derivatives to go through clearinghouses and exchanges, while also standardizing derivatives contracts to make them transparent.

NYSE Euronext will announce earnings on July 30.

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