Exchanges are consolidating left and right. There’s the NYSE/Euronext/Archipelago and the CME/CBOE mergers to name a few. The most recent example is the rumor today that Nymex Holdings, which is the parent company of the NYMEX exchange, is in preliminary merger talks, according to Matt Hougan for the Index Universe. The biggest benefit from consolidating exchanges is that it creates efficiencies, which is healthy to a point. It becomes questionable as the field of competition narrows to just a handful of global exchange giants. Is that where our future is headed?

As of now there is no way to invest in the exchange sector; the Claymore/Clear Global Exchanges, Brokers and Asset Managers (EXB) is the ETF that comes closest. It holds 36% in exchanges. An ETF that was made up of just those holdings likely would have been one of the top performers over the past few years, Hougan says.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.