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Bloody barber: Market forces haircut on reluctant IPOs

Trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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As the stock market fluctuates, the initial public offering (IPO) market is repricing.

Thus far this week, every single IPO deal has priced below their expected range, including three that came to market late Tuesday.

Here's a grim statistic: 7 out of the 10 that priced last week are now trading below their IPO price.

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On the NYSE, investment bank and financial advisor Moelis & Company (MC) priced 6.5 million shares—less than expected—at $25, below the $26 to $29 range.

On the NASDAQ, California commercial bank Opus Bank (OPB) priced 5.1 million shares (again, less than expected) at $30, below the $31 to $34 price talk. Separately, stent developer TriVascular Technologies (TRIV) priced 6.5 million shares at $12, below the $13 to $15 range.

Is this something to worry about? No, this is actually healthy. Because the stock market has been squishy, the IPO market is repricing downward. Everything is getting done, just at a lower price. This is the capital market working exactly the way it should!

That said, we are clearing the decks. Next week is very light on deals.

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Still, a pricing shakeout continues, which sets the stage for the 6 IPOs pricing tonight (what genius planned to have 12 IPOs in a week with Easter, Passover, and spring break?)


Two biotech firms that are looking to price tonight have already lowered their price range:

1) Diagnostics testing company Quotient (QTNT) is seeking to raise 5 million shares, but has preemptively cut its price from $14-$16 to $9-$11;

2) Vital Therapies (VTL), which is developing treatments for acute liver failure, had been seeking to raise 4.5 million shares at $16-$18. Now, they are aiming for a $13-$15 range.

The other four pricing tonight include one well-known brand name. The largest deal of the week (roughly $850 million) is online travel reservation site Sabre (SABR), which is a leveraged buyout being floated by TPG and Silver Lake. They are seeking to raise 44.7 million shares at $18-$20.

Weibo (WB, the Twitter of China) is seeking to raise 20 million shares at $17-$19, Leju Holdings (LEJU), which operates real estate sites in China for companies like Baidu, is seeking to raise 10 million shares at $10-$12, and Sportsmans Warehouse Holdings (SOWH), a fast-growth outdoor retailer, is looking to price 12.5 million shares at $11-$13.

--By CNBC's Bob Pisani