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Today in Tech: "Markets Come and Go, Good Companies Survive"


Facebook shares fall below the IPO level while Chrome surpasses Internet Explorer.

Facebook's (FB) stock sank below its IPO price this morning. Today is the stock's first day on the public market without Morgan Stanley (MS), the IPO's lead underwriter, supporting it. On Friday, Morgan Stanley intervened and bought shares to keep the price above $38 after seeing less-than-anticipated institutional demand. Now that the training wheels are off, Facebook dropped 11.62%. Morgan Stanley shares also suffered this morning.

Facebook's disappointing debut on the market was the first topic addressed at TechCrunch Disrupt, the massive annual tech conference in New York. Michael Arrington, a veteran tech blogger that has since quit TechCrunch after the blog was taken over by AOL (AOL), asked Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures whether he thinks Facebook was overvalued at the IPO. Despite the stock having dropped in the first few minutes of trading, Wilson defended Facebook's valuation.

"Markets come and go, good companies survive," he said. "The price of Facebook stock is not that important. Mark built an incredible platform and organization. I don't think it matters that much if it's trading at $25 or $50."

Wilson was an early investor in hot tech companies including Etsy, Foursquare, Tumblr, Zynga (ZNGA), and Twitter, but he does not own Facebook shares.

Google's (GOOG) Chrome web browser surpassed Internet Explorer last week for the first time. Chrome has been gaining on Microsoft's (MSFT) ever-present browser since it was introduced. Google and Microsoft don't make any revenue from their respective browsers, but the browsers help drive search traffic and reinforces brand loyalty.

Yahoo (YHOO) sold back half of its share in the Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba in a $7 billion deal. Alibaba, which will evenutally IPO itself as a part of the deal, was valued at $35 billion in the transaction.

In the wake of all of the brouhaha over Facebook's IPO, Microsoft is diving into the social pool as well. Today, Microsoft launched, aiming to socialize search. If you log in to (you can do so with a Facebook login) your Bing searches will be broadcast to your friends, who can can comment on your searches to help you find what you are looking for.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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