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IPO activity slows, but Nasdaq pushes forward

It's been a relatively slow year for initial public offerings at Nasdaq, but prospects look promising going into 2017, incoming CEO Adena Friedman said Tuesday.

"I think that the earlier volatility in the year held people back, and then of course the election also holds people back from entering the markets," Friedman told CNBC's "Squawk Box." "So we see the potential for a busy end of the year, and then going into Q1 of next year, there's a very healthy pipeline of companies ready to go public."

However, some companies will choose to wait until they know enough about the Trump administration before going public, she said.

But so far, so good. Friedman said markets have responded well to Trump's victory thanks to his pro-business rhetoric.

"I think that in general, we'll find that investors will continue to react well so long as the pro-business tone continues," she said.

One major uncertainty is trade, Friedman said. She said many of Nasdaq's listed companies would benefit from measures like repatriation of money held overseas to avoid higher U.S. corporate taxes.

Friedman, Nasdaq's president and chief operating officer, will replace Bob Greifeld as CEO in January.

Greifeld told CNBC on Tuesday he's confident about his company, both in leadership and in performance.

"Compared to other exchanges year to date, we're dramatically outperforming them," Greifeld said. "We have to continue to execute, and under Adena's leadership, I think we'll do that incredibly well."


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