NYSE CEO: Twitter likely to open higher

We've done all we can to prepare: Niederauer

NYSE Euronext CEO Duncan Niederauer predicted on CNBC ahead of Thursday's Twitter IPO that the stock is likely to trade higher when it opens. He also stressed in a "Squawk Box" interview that the exchange has done everything it can do to make sure the debut goes smoothly.

"A lot of people who normally don't pay attention to what's going on here, are paying attention today," he continued. "An IPO like Twitter is not going to open at 9:30 [a.m. ET]. If I were going to guess, I'd say 10 or 10:15."

Unlike Facebook—which experienced a troubled debut on the Nasdaq in May 2012—Twitter chose the NYSE. The stock will trade under the ticker symbol TWTR. With 70 million shares pricing at $26 each late Wednesday, Twitter's offering came in above the expected range. The company will raise $1.8 billion. It'll be valued on a fully diluted basis at $18.3 billion.

"It was properly priced. It was a good-sized deal," Niederauer said. "It feels to me listening to the guys on the floor, it trades up a little bit on the opening. That would be my guess."

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo told CNBC that investors should not be concerned about the company's current lack of profits, because it's part of a plan to invest for the long term.

(Read more: Twitter CEO has no regrets over its 'smooth' IPO)

But Twitter faces a skeptical public, according to a CNBC-AP poll. Just 36 percent of the people surveyed thought that buying stock in the 7-year-old short messaging service would be a good investment, while 47 percent disagreed.

(Read more: Twitter faces skeptical investors: CNBC-AP poll)

Ahead of much-hyped Facebook's IPO, 51 percent said the social network would be a good investment. Just 31 percent disagreed.

Technical glitches plagued the Facebook debut and its stock barely closed above its offering price of $38. The stock price fell by more than half over the next four months. But things have turned around since then, and Facebook now trades at nearly $50 a share as of Wednesday's close.

NYSE's Duncan L. Niederauer
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

"I think what happened last year [with Facebook] is we all know technology fails sometimes. When it failed [on Nasdaq] it was a lack of communication afterwards. We're not going to let that happen," Niederauer said. "We're going to make sure we're over-communicating."

(Read more: Five memorable tech IPO moments)

In his CNBC interview ahead of the IPO, Costolo dodged questions about whether Facebook's debacle affected his strategy—saying he drew on the experience of a range of Silicon Valley companies and industry best practices.

Overall, the IPO market has been robust, and Niederauer said he thinks it's because "the market's at a level where it makes sense to try to take companies out." He added, "The investors are receiving them pretty well. I don't feel that it's frothy."

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 128 points to a new closing high of 15,746.

By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere. Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC.