November 23, 2012
In response to the November 2, 2012 comment letter. I am an individual investor who participated in the Facebook IPO. I placed an order to sell 35,000 shares on the open. I didn't receive confirmation that the trade was not executed until 1:50pm. At that time I called my executing broker and asked if I should assume the stock was sold or should I sell it now. I was informed not to sell at this time and that nasdaq was still going to honor the opening print ($42). I went home Fri. assuming that I sold the stock at $42. On Mon. pre market I was informed that I didn't sell the stock and Nasdaq was putting together a compensation plan to anyone that didn't sell. I was told that i needed to sell the stock before 12 noon in order to qualify for the full compensation plan. The stock opened down significantly Mon. I ended up selling the stock at $34.0226. Not only did I not make the money I thought I did on the transaction I ended up losing an additional $139,209 for a total of $279,209.
We rely on a system that has failed miserably and has admitted the failure. There is no reason to assume anyone should get anything less than full compensation for the failure. Nasdaq is suggesting that after 1:50pm on Fri there was plenty of time to get out of the stock yet they did not make it clear whether the original orders were executed or not. With that said, selling the stock at that time put me at risk of being short a lot of stock that had the potential of being up substantially the next day. This horrific failure by the Nasdaq has created a tremendous amount of anxiety and has made it very difficult to rely on a system that has failed miserably. Anything less than full compensation for their failure would suggest a complete breakdown in a system that we rely on and assume is providing a fair and reasonable market.
I am only mentioning the monetary effects from this horrible situation never mind the emotional rollercoaster it has created. I have been trading stocks for almost 20 years. In that time I have never experienced anything even close to this debacle. When I place an order to sell a stock on the open I have no reason to assume the stock was not sold, with a confirm or not. When it is confirmed the order was placed then you assume the stock will be sold as soon as it opens. This has always been the case so there is no reason to make an exception with the Facebook IPO. The Nasdaq has failed us miserably and they should fully compensate everyone who had an order to sell on the open at $42 based on NASDAQ's own procedures governing an IPO opening cross, and just and equitable principles of trade.