Twitter gets great start on New York Stock Exchange

“It seemed orderly, and as the NYSE rep said, ‘textbook,’” Dan McMahon, director of equity trading at Raymond James Financial Inc. in New York, said in an e-mail today. “I’ve been involved in my fair share of IPO openings, and don’t disagree.”

The market was spared a reprise of Facebook, whose first trades were crippled by a design flaw in Nasdaq OMX Group Inc.’s opening auction. Pulling off the deal is a coup for Duncan Niederauer, the NYSE Euronext chief executive officer who has lured Internet companies such as LinkedIn Corp. and Yelp Inc. since 2011.

Twitter opened 79 minutes after the 9:30 a.m. start of trading, giving it one of the longer opening auctions in the last decade. By comparison, LinkedIn’s first trade was at about 10 a.m. on May 19, 2011, while Yelp needed about 15 minutes to open in March 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

‘Less Volatile’

“We were trying to get the message out early that it was going to take a while,” Niederauer said in an interview on Bloomberg Television with Erik Schatzker and Stephanie Ruhle. “Our evidence we got it right is that it’s been in a $4 to $5 range since the opening, which is what we pride ourselves in. It should be less volatile the way our model works here.”

The stock rose as high as $50.09 just after 11 a.m.

Around 11:30 a.m., the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said it was halting over-the-counter stocks — shares that aren’t listed on the NYSE or Nasdaq — because of a data issue. The shares normally trade on a venue maintained by the OTC Markets Group, headquartered in New York.

A phone call and e-mail to Cromwell Coulson, OTC Markets’ chief executive officer, weren’t returned. The halt covered all OTC equity securities and “is appropriate to protect investors and ensure a fair and orderly marketplace,” according to a statement on Finra’s website.

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