Pick Nasdaq Over NYSE: Analysts

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Nasdaq OMX Group ( NDAQ) shares should outperform NYSE Group ( NYX) shares despite a "challenging environment" for both companies, Citigroup analysts wrote in a research note published Thursday.

NYSE Group faces "more risk of negative earnings revisions," according to the report, given struggles with weaker revenues in its technology division and the prospect of ongoing "tepid" volumes on the Liffe futures exchange, since it is focused on short-dated fixed-income securities.

On the other hand, Nasdaq shares "have arguably suffered" from negative publicity over poor handling of the Facebook ( FB) IPO, what Citigroup analysts don't believe will have a "meaningful impact" to earnings growth at the exchange operator.

Citigroup's official recommendation on Nasdaq is "neutral," according to the report, which does not list a recommendation for NYSE. However, Citigroup proposed the overweight to Nasdaq and the underweight to NYSE as part of a "pair trade"--meant to outperform the broader market whether it rises or falls.

As part of the same report, Citigroup recommends CME Group ( CME) over shares of the Australian Securities Exchange ( ASX) as part of a global pair trade.

The report argues the ASX "has more recently started to see an acceleration of downward pressure in its derivative and cash equities businesses." It adds that "the Australian economy has recently shown signs of decelerating on the back of slower growth in China."

-- Written by Dan Freed in New York.

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