NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Ending months of feverish anticipation, Facebook ( FB - Get Report) made an eventful debut as a public company on Friday, dashing investor hopes of a massive IPO pop.

After pricing its IPO at $38 a share late on Thursday, the social networker's stock opened at $42.05 at roughly 11:30 a.m. ET on Friday morning, 30 minutes after the scheduled time. Facebook shares briefly jumped to a high of $45 before running down toward its pricing level. Despite repeatedly touching $38 just before market close, the stock avoided negative territory, and closed at $38.23.

The biggest-ever tech IPO, however, caused the Nasdaq exchange to struggle with phenomenally heavy volume as more than 573 million Facebook shares changed hands. Nasdaq even resorted to manually delivering executions to brokerage houses.

The IPO price of $38 a share gave Facebook a valuation of $104 billion, significantly above the market caps of tech heavyweights Dell ( DELL) and HP ( HPQ). At $38 a share, the offering has raised more than $16 billion for the Menlo Park, Calif.-based firm.

Read TheStreet's Live Blog recap for more details of Facebook's historic IPO:

--Written by James Rogers and Chris Ciaccia in New York.

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