Facebook jumps, slumps on first day of trading

Facebook investors gave the stock a resounding thumbs down on the first day of trading.

In the most anticipated technology initial public offering since Google in 2004, Facebook’s stock on Friday never lived up to the hype the company had hoped for, closing at $38.23.

“Investors figured out it was hyped,” said Paul McWilliams, editor of the New Jersey-based Next Inning Technology Research. “They got past the hype.”

The stock erased a quick start with steady declines in its first hour of trading.

Facebook’s stock, which goes by the ticker “FB,” jumped to $43, up $5, in the first half-hour after the market opened, with 82 million shares reportedly traded in the first 30 seconds.

But that was much lower than what many analysts expected, with some guessing it would climb above $100 for a short time.

From there, the hype slowly trickled away, and so did large numbers of investors, who began to unfriend the world’s most popular social network.

By 11:49 a.m., Facebook was back down to the opening price of $38.

Throughout the rest of the day, the stock traded between $38 and $41, but that was far below the levels many investors expected.

Some analysts have said Facebook’s stock is overhyped, because investors have an emotional connection to the site that could override smart investment decisions. They blamed this for the decline.

“Your emotions are your biggest enemy as an investor,” Mr. McWilliams said. “They just get carried away sometimes.”

The world’s most popular social network, which started in Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room in 2004, has more than 900 million active users.

11:30 … $42.25
11:31 … $42.06
11:32 … $41.39
11:33 … $40.90
11:34 … $40.27
11:35 … $40.14
11:36 … $40.01
11:37 … $40.00
11:38 … $40.03
11:39 … $40.01
11:40 … $40.02
11:41 … $40.03
11:42 … $40.11
11:43 … $40.02
11:44 … $40.00
11:45 … $39.53
11:46 … $39.01
11:47 … $39.00
11:48 … $38.20
11:49 … $38.00
12:00 … $39.52

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