A staggering 271 million shares have become eligible for sale today and those who either need the money or those who have little trust in the stock were allowed to add their stock to the already 421 million shares currently on the market.
As a result, shares traded lower than the previous closing low of $20.04, which was hit on August 2. Facebook's stock dropped as low as $19.71 and circled the $20 mark throughout the day. At the time of this writing, shares traded for $19.89, giving Facebook a market cap of just $42.7 billion, which is substantially below pre-IPO estimates of about $90 to $100 billion.
It was unlikely that all 271 million shares would hit the market on Thursday, but there was a substantial trading volume of almost 133 million shares, compared to an average volume of 31 million shares per day.