Minute by minute, Nasdaq chaos engulfed Facebook IPO | Reuters


“Finally, at 1:47 p.m. Nasdaq said it would electronically process all orders that were supposed to have been done at the opening price at 11:30 a.m.

That meant that more than 12 million Facebook shares traded between 1:49 p.m. and 1:51 p.m., one of the busiest periods for the stock that day, according to Thomson Reuters data.

But market participants say these trades, according to time-and-sales data, did not appear to be executed at the opening price of $42.05. Instead they were recorded at the then prevailing lower price.

“Those trades that came across at 1:50 should have had an indicator on them called a late sale – in other words, these are not trades that just happened, these happened two hours ago,” said Joe Saluzzi, co-head of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.

The barrage of orders added to selling pressure as it created the perception that a lot of investors were still trying to get out of the stock.

The stock wobbled around $40 a share for another hour when more sellers came in, dropping the price to near the $38 issue price – where it spent several agonizing minutes as lead underwriter Morgan Stanley defended that level. Facebook’s shares closed that day at $38.23, but have since slumped and ended this Friday at $31.91.”

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