Stocks rose today as investors were encouraged by the extension of at least $5 billion in bailout money to the financing division of General Motors, MarketWatch reports. GMAC said the aid would allow it to offer loans to more US consumers seeking to buy vehicles. The Dow gained 184.46 points to close at 8,668. The Nasdaq climbed 40.38 points, closing at 1,551, and the S&P 500 rose 21.22 points to settle at 891.
Investors largely discounted two downbeat economic reports: The Case-Shiller index reported that home prices across the country declined 2.2% in October and are down 18% from a year ago. The Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence fell to an all-time low of 38 in December, down from 44.7 in November.