Friday, December 26, 2008

Stock futures up slightly as investors eye GM

Stocks futures rose on Friday as General Motors (NYSE:GM - News). shares rallied in pre-market trade, lifted by the move to turn affiliate GMAC into a bank holding company.

GMAC LLC, the financing arm of General Motors won Federal Reserve approval on Wednesday to become a bank holding company, giving it access to government lending programs and helping it stave off bankruptcy.

Shares of General Motors rose nearly 14 percent to $3.70 in premarket trade.

Another potential market spur Friday can be investors deciding there is some value over the longer-term.

"It may not be the bottom, but it's no time to be 100 percent in cash," said Ron Weiner president and founder of RDM financial in Westport Connecticut.

"There are too many bargains looking out 24 to 36 months."

S&P 500 futures rose 7 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 62 points, and Nasdaq 100 added 8.50 points.

Asia stocks edged up on Friday and Japan's Nikkei average posted its highest close in six weeks as investors bet a raft of government measures will help the global economy recover next year.

Trading activity overseas was light with many financial markets closed following Christmas Day. Markets in Hong Kong and Australia were closed while many markets in Europe will remain closed.

Oil rose above $36 a barrel on Friday after the United Arab Emirates joined leading exporter Saudi Arabia in deepening supply curbs in line with OPEC's biggest ever output cut announced last week.

U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday in a shortened session before Thursday's Christmas Day holiday. The Dow snapped a five-day losing streak, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq reversed two days of declines.

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