Facebook’s Rocky Start on the Market

Facebook’s first two days as a publicly traded company have been ones for the record books, for sure, but they have also been marred by ungainly “technical glitches,” underperformance, and even the reek of what some (John Cassidy) are calling an inside job. Friday, May 18th turned out to be the day tech investors had been waiting for: Facebook’s initial public offering on Nasdaq. But early on, those trying to buy or sell were having problems getting their orders through; the system seemed to be overloaded. The day continued with heavy trading and Facebook shares, when the market closed, were valued at $38.23, just 23 cents above their initial asking price.


Today, on its second day of trading, the markets closed with Facebook stock down at $34.03. It may be only the second day, but after the I.P.O. had been hyped for years, investors and even just casual market observers were understandably disheartened.

The glitches of the first trading day are already being investigated by the S.E.C. On the bright side, the current underperformance has time on its side since things have only just begun. As for the concern about an inside job? Well, it seems to have been an “inside job” that was perfectly legal under the established market system.

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