Facebook IPO: Watch Mark Zuckerberg ring the NASDAQ opening bell live [Updated – opening bid: $42]

Facebook opening bell

 The big day is finally here: At about 9:28am ET, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will ring the NASDAQ opening bell, signaling the official start of the long-awaited Facebook IPO. After that, the value of the world’s largest social network will be put in the fickle hands of Wall Street investors.

Yesterday, Facebook announced that it has priced its shares at an opening cost of $38, which at that price values Facebook at more than $104 billion — by far the largest IPO of any technology company, ever. Some estimate that the price could double by the end of today’s trading, bumping Facebook’s market value at more than $200 billion — a staggering number by any count.

Of course, unless you are one of the elite few who can afford to get in on the Facebook trading action, today is of little consequence. Facebook will still be a website; a status update will still be a status update, just as it ever was. But there’s no denying that today is a landmark day in Web business history.

UPDATE: The bell ringing has come and gone, but the action has just begun. Watch Facebook’s (FB) stock price in real-time, here, or here.

UPDATE 2 (11:30am ET): NASDAQ has delayed trading of Facebook’s stock due to “unprecedented demand,” and the NASDAQ website has crashed. Thing are not exactly getting off to a smooth start…

UPDATE  (11:35am ET): Trading has officially begun. The opening bid was $42.05, a 10.5 percent increase over the initial price. (Corrected)

Watch the NASDAQ Livestream video below: