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Facebook shares fall below issue price

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Facebook shares tumbled in early trading on Wall Street today, leaving them below the $38 price they launched at.

The social network plummeted by 12% within minutes of the opening bell, and had settled on an 11% deficit of $33.92 more than an hour into the day's trading.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about Timeline during the f/8 conference

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Mark Zuckerberg's company began trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange on Friday (May 18), with its shares opening at just over 11% on the initial offer price, valuing the company at $115bn. More than 566 million shares changed hands, a record US market debut.

Strong interest in the run up to Facebook's flotation influenced the firm and its bankers to raise the price of its shares and the number available. Zuckerberg's fortune is said to have declined by $2bn to $17bn following today's performance.

Shortly after trading ended on Friday, Facebook received its first "sell" recommendation from analysts at Pivotal Research Group, who claim that the social network is overvalued.

In contrast, Apple's stock market shares climbed 1.5% to $538 in trading today.

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