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Groupon IPO: Shares surge on first day of trading

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Investors clamored for a piece of Groupon Inc. on its first morning as a public company, sending shares of the online coupon company up nearly 50%.

In the early hours of trading on the Nasdaq exchange Friday, shares of Groupon were up 43%, or $8.50 from its $20 initial public offering late Thursday.

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The gains came even as the rest of the stock market was falling. The technology heavy Nasdaq composite index was recently down 1.5%, or 39.50 points to 2,658.47.

The $20 IPO was already above the $16 to $18 range that had been expected, and it signaled strong investor demand for the company.

Groupon, which is trading under the ticker symbol ‘GRPN,’ had stumbled on its way to the starting gate this summer, revising its public documents and confronting skepticism about its business model.

But the offering remained one of the most hotly anticipated this year -- and one of the largest. The company helped pump up demand by selling only a small portion of its shares.

Early demand for Internet startups have not always withstood the test of time. Earlier this year, LinkedIn shares skyrocketed in their first days of trading before falling back to earth.

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-- Nathaniel Popper

twitter.com/nathanielpopper


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