The Washington Times - May 18, 2012, 01:35PM

Facebook isn’t getting the boost it had hoped for in the first morning of trading.

In the most anticipated technology initial public offering since Google, Facebook’s stock on Friday erased a quick start with steady declines in its first few hours 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 second. But 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. The stock then began a slight uptick, trading steady around the $38 to just-below-$40 mark. It hit $39.52 at noon, but far below the levels some investors may have hoped for.

Count Bono among the disappointed investors.

The music icon and lead singer of rock band U2 owns 2.3 percent of Facebook, which would be worth about $1.5 billion, if the stock lives up to the hype. It has been reported that would make him the richest musician in the world.

But Bono already seems skeptical about the stock’s success.

“Um, I don’t think it’s true,” he told The Washington Times, when asked if he expected to become the richest musician in the world, a sign that he doesn’t expect the stock to do as well as the hype would indicate.

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,” said Paul McWilliams, editor of the New Jersey-based Next Inning Technology Research. “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.

Joe Deoudes contributed to this article.