Facebook shares will go on sale at long last today, in the biggest tech IPO in US history—and Nasdaq is desperate to make sure nothing goes wrong. Facebook has set an initial price of $38 per share, meaning it will make some $16 billion on the sale. Trading will begin at 11am ET—an hour and a half after the rest of the market opens—to give brokers time to handle the deluge of orders, the Los Angeles Times reports.
"It has to go off without a hitch," said the head of one consulting firm. "If this goes poorly, it will not just be a poor reflection on Nasdaq—it will be a poor reflection on the US market structure." Nasdaq has actually been practicing, using the dummy ticker ZWZZT to test out various scenarios. Facebook, meanwhile, marked the occasion with an all-night "hackathon," which began with Mark Zuckerberg getting a standing ovation from his employees, VentureBeat reports. Zuckerberg will follow up that long night by ringing the opening bell remotely this morning.