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More Facebook Shares About to Hit Market

Employees and early investors will be allowed to start selling Thursday.

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The long-anticipated first lockup on Facebook shares is released Thursday, allowing insiders including employees and early investors to sell additional shares for the first time. They had been barred from selling these shares for 91 days following the May 18 initial public offering.

Investors are nervously waiting to see how the market handles this massive influx of stock, which has already lost nearly half its value. This first lockup makes 271.1 million shares available for trading, which is more than half the number of shares sold in the IPO and more than a tenth of what's currently outstanding.