(CNBC) — Facebook set a record for volume on its first day of trading, but the stock otherwise failed to live up to all the hype and posted just a modest gain for the day.

After an attention-grabbing half-hour delay to start its initial public offering, Facebook shares [FB 38.2318 0.2318 (+0.61%) ] opened at $38, surged as much as 11 percent during the day, but ultimately finished just above unchanged after hitting an intraday high of $45.

Late in the trading day the stock threatened to hit negative numbers, vacillating around unchanged as underwriters put up a vigorous fight to defend the breakeven point.

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