The New York Stock Exchange played host to Twitter's high-profile initial public offering this morning as the company went public and shares began trading on the market. Twitter's soaring bird logo was emblazoned across both the outside and the inside of the exchange, and in such context the logo fittingly illustrated the company's hopes for its publicly traded stock.
Many were on the floor of the exchange well before the 9:30AM opening bell, and anticipation rose as the market prepared to open. Twitter executives on hand — including CEO Dick Costolo, CFO Mike Gupta, and co-founders Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, and Biz Stone — surprisingly didn't partake in the ceremonies, instead opting to make their appearance right on the exchange floor. A group of Twitter users took the podium instead, led by Sir Patrick Stewart.
After the opening bell, the floor continued to swell with bankers, traders, press, and guests, but the room soon fell silent as officials worked to pair buyers and traders and set an opening price for TWTR. A nervous energy enveloped the crowd as the minutes passed, and when a trader yelled out that the IPO was "very close" the room buzzed with excitement. The process took over an hour, and Twitter began trading on the market shortly before 11AM ET, the longest since 2007, according to an NYSE executive. A cheer ripped through the crowd as the stock opened at $45.10, 73 percent higher than the stock's IPO price.