Are the new york stock exchange, or nasdaq, or any other stock exchanges actually also publicly traded companies themselves? Can one buy shares of a stock exchange operation? If so, what are some stock symbols for stock exchanges?
Down here in Australia, the Australian Securities Exchange trades on itself under the symbol ASX.
In the US there are three main exchange companies who carry most of the volume traded:
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) who own NYSE, NYSE Arca, Amex are listed NYSE under ticker symbol
NASDAQ Inc. who are listed on NASDAQ under ticker symbol
CBOE Global Markets who are listed on their equities exchanges under ticker symbol
The listing of an exchange on its own platform is very common, as for an exchange not to be listed would be a little bit hypocritical - how can you persuade other companies to list when you are not listed yourself? Typically information barriers are put in place to ensure that conflicts of interest do not happen. Ultimately a market maker takes much of the responsibility of ensuring there is a market for the exchange's stock rather than the exchange.