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The Nasdaq Stock Market, where Facebook is listed, had problems sending electronic messages back to the brokerages that handle orders from individual, or "retail," investors, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.
Because the electronic acknowledgements didn't come back from the exchange, the brokers were unable to tell their clients that trades had been executed. Such acknowledgements usually occur almost instantaneously.
"Nasdaq's delay in passing back executions is causing a lot of heartburn on the Street," said one source. "We had to tell clients we didn't get the print back," said another.
In a note to traders, exchange operator Nasdaq OMX Group said at 1:57 p.m. Eastern time that trade execution messages were finally delivered to brokers and market makers. The stock started trading about 11:30 a.m.
Nasdaq was not immediately available to comment.
Earlier in the day, the exchange said it was "investigating an issue in delivering trade execution messages" from the Facebook IPO. Once begun, it took about 10 minutes for the execution messages to fully filter back to the brokers.