With 15 minutes left in the session, the stock was trading at $38.00, which had been the offering price. Buying picked up a bit right before the close (most likely helped by the underwriters), and Facebook staggered across the finish line at $38.23, up 23 cents. Not a great showing, but there were lots of disruptions involving the completion of orders. The start of trading was delayed about 30 minutes, and activity was choppy throughout. Volume was massive, much of it coming from individual investors who believe that the social network site is a good investment. From the WSJ:
One investor said at 12:20 p.m. he was frustrated after a market order he put in around 11:40 a.m., for 1,000 shares, still hadn't been acknowledged by Nasdaq some 40 minutes later. "It's not reasonable," he said, adding that shorter delays for an order of 10,000 or 20,000 shares would be more understandable. Traders speculated the glitches could be tempering demand for Facebook shares, because would-be buyers couldn't be sure where they stood with earlier orders.
Meanwhile, the overall market took it on the chin for the 12th time in 13 sessions, with the Dow falling 73 points. Year to date, the Dow is up only 1.2 percent.
*Another amazing stat: Trading in Facebook shares accounted for roughly 25 percent to 29 percent of TD Ameritrade's total trading volume on Friday. Shows you the interest of small investors. (MarketBeat)