Today, Facebook went public.
What does this mean? Going public means that a private company has its IPO (Initial Public Offering), or begins selling shares in the company publicly, on the stock market. This allows the public, ordinary people like us, not just large institutional investors, to own a piece of that company. The idea is that as the company grows, the stock price will go up and our investment in that stock will increase in value. You hope.
One measure of a company’s size and success is its market capitalization, or the total value of all of its shares of stock at the current share price. Here is a snapshot of some companies in technology, banking, oil, and of local interest so you can compare their market caps, as of today:
|Exxon Mobil Corporation||XOM||$383.02B|
|JPMorgan Chase & Co.||JPM||$129.16B|
|Bank of America Corp||BAC||$75.22B|
|The Boeing Company||BA||$52.23B|