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2012 business year in review: Facebook's IPO, big brands shake up leadership

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Buffalo: 2012 business year in review: Facebook's IPO, big brands shake up leadership
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Facebook going public, CEO shakeups, a historical closure at the New York Stock Exchange and at year's end, word that the exchange itself may be bought by an Atlanta-based exchange. Annika Pergament looks back at the biggest headlines from the financial world in 2012.


There were many headlines that grabbed the attention of Wall Street in 2012.

Facebook was the most hotly anticipated IPO of 2012. But all the fanfare around its public debut fizzled quickly.

The company's stock has not been able to maintain its initial pricing of $38 a share, and it's been under pressure for most of the year.

Apple held onto its title of tech darling with the release of a new iPhone and iPad.

Back in August, Apple became the world’s most valuable company, with an estimated value worth of over $621 billion. But investor’s fever for the company eventually broke, and the stock has fallen more than 20 percent from its all time high of $702 reached in September.

Trading trouble persisted for Wall Street firms. In August, Knight Capital reported a $400 million error. The firm teetered on the brink of closing as orders dried up following the disclosure.

The nation’s largest bank, JP Morgan, reported a massive loss in the London branch of its
Chief Investment Office based on transactions booked by a trader dubbed the “London Whale.”

At the time, the trade was thought to have cost the bank $2 billion, but that number quickly swelled to settle at $6 billion.

Meanwhile, there were shakeups for top executives at several big brands.

Marissa Meyer took the helm at Yahoo, hoping to conduct the same magic she did at Google.

Former eBay chief Meg Whitman took the CEO job at Hewlett Packard.

Brian Dunn resigned from the top job at Best Buy as well, following allegations of an inappropriate relationship he had with a subordinate.

Citigroup’s CEO Vikram Pandit was ousted by the board of directors after he steered the bank through the financial crisis.

But the biggest story to hit Wall Street in 2012 is an event New Yorkers won’t soon forget.

Hurricane Sandy forced the financial markets, along with the New York Stock Exchange, to close for two days. It was the first time the institution has shut for that length of time because of weather since the blizzard of 1888.

That's now a part of recent history that Wall Street, along with the rest of the city, hopes does not repeat.

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