Exchange stocks have recently emerged as a raging bull market on Jim Cramer's radar. And it seemingly appeared out of nowhere.
"The exchange stocks are experiencing a renaissance on Wall Street, thanks to a huge wave of consolidation that has wiped out so much of the competition. And in this environment, I think the group can keep moving higher," the "Mad Money" host said.
In addition to operating well-known stock and futures markets, many exchange plays provide data and technology services for institutional investors around the world.
Exchange stocks have pulled back from their highs recently, which led to Cramer highlighting them as a possible buy on weakness. However, exchange operators have performed better than the stock markets that they actually run.
In particular, Cramer liked three exchange plays. First was the CME Group, which owns the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He also liked Intercontinental Exchange, which is a futures trading play that bought the New York Stock Exchange three years ago in the NYSE-Euronext acquisition, followed by Nasdaq, Inc.