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Facebook shares hit market as investors are allowed to sell

271.1 million Facebook shares are expected to hit the market today, boosting amount of stock available by 60%.

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A television crew prepares for a broadcast in front of a 'like' sign outside Facebook headquarters May 18, 2012 in Menlo Park, California. The eight-year-old social network company listed their initial public offering on NASDAQ at $38 a share, a valuation of $104 billion, making its IPO the third largest in U.S. history after General Motors and Visa. (Stephen Lam/Getty Images)

If you're one of the few people out there desperate to get your hands on Facebook's not-so-great stock, this is your chance!

271.1 million Facebook shares are expected to hit the market today. The lock-up period that stopped early investors from selling their stock expires today.

This will boost the amount of Facebook stock available to the open market by over 60 percent, Bloomberg reported.

Best part? The shares freed up today are only 14 percent of the 1.91 billion shares that will be made available in the upcoming nine months.

“Buckle your seatbelts for the next couple of months until they make it through all these shares coming unlocked,” said
said Tom Forte, an analyst at Telsey Advisory Group in New York to Bloomberg.

Investors are currently bracing themselves to see how the market will handle this massive influx of stock, USA Today reported.

"You're going to see a lot of volatility," says Scott Kessler of S&P Capital. IQ. "People could sell, and investors are worried about that."

The Toronto Star reported that Facebook shares were down 2.12 percent in pre-market trading this morning, selling at $20.75.

The company, which is worth $51.2 billion has lost about $40 billion in market value since it's IPO. Data compiled by Bloomberg shows that Facebook is the worst performer among all large IPOs on record.  

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/120816/facebook-shares-hit-market-investors-are-allowed-sell