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What's Up with GM?

Thursday, 16 Aug 2012 | 3:56 PM ET
GM building
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GM building

What's up with General Motors? At 3:30pm ET, it was up 5.8 percent — that is a LOT for a low-beta stock like GM — and the volume was near 12 million shares, way more than the 7 million on a typical full day.

So what's up? There's no big news. One analysts noted that all the autos have been rallying, as they were deeply oversold on Europe fears. There may be a sense the selling has stopped for the time being.

Several traders noted that GM's Opel unit in Germany said they were in talk with workers to cut their hours due to weaker demand in Europe.

This doesn't seem like a big deal (maybe $45 million in savings), but this might be part of something bigger. GM has been working on a turnaround plan for some time, one analyst told me: "The bull case here is that once people become convinced that the losses in Europe have peaked (which is TBD — depends on the magnitude of cost savings), then they will likely begin to focus on the upside opportunity in North America, as the company benefits from a huge product cycle over the next 12-months."

Other autos up as well:

Ford up 1.3%,

Toyota up 2.7%,

Tata up 2.4%,

Honda up 2.2%.

Bear in mind that the biggest holder of GM is the U.S. government (32 percent) followed by the UAW (10 percent). But there are a lot of activist investors that own the stock that people like to follow: Greenlight Capital (1.1 percent), Apaloosa (0.3 percent), Citadel (0.1 percent), GAMCO (Mario Gabelli — 0.04 percent). They may be adding to positions.

—By CNBC’s Bob Pisani

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  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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