Market Gave Us Good News Today

Another light volume, low volatility day, closing near the highs. Good news, considering that the consumer confidence and home price news was dismal.

Goldman Sachs had a particularly good day, up almost 6 percent, though on light volume.

GMAC was the big story of the day: as a result of a successful debt for equity swap and an infusion from the Treasury Department, the probability of insolvency has been greatly diminished.

The is big for GM : GMAC is involved in financing about 35 percent of all GM cars sold.

GMAC immediately announced it was resuming auto financing for a broader spectrum of customers, and GM immediately said they were offering new financing programs, which includes 0% financing for five years.

The GMAC publicly traded 7.25 percent note rose 21 percent, and now yields 16.5 percent. That's high, but it's half the yield of just a few days ago.

2008: No one got out alive. You know it's a bad year when the best performer among major country indices is Mexico, which was down 24 percent.

But that's the way it was. While the U.S. was down about 40 percent on the year, other countries with heavier exposure to commodities (like Russia, down 73 percent) were hurt much more. Emerging market countries like China (down 65 percent) also saw notable drops.

Here's the grim statistics for 2008. All stats are percentage declines.

North & Latin American Indices
Argentina -49
Brazil -41
U.S. -40
Canada -35
Mexico -24

European Indices
Russia -73
Netherlands -53
France -43
Germany 40
U.K. -32

Asian Indices
China -65
Hong Kong -49
Australia -44
Japan -42
South Korea -41

Best-Performing Dow Components (only 2 positive on year!)
Wal-Mart +15
McDonald's +4
Johnson & Johnson -12
Home Depot -16
ExxonMobil -16

Worst-Performing Dow Components
General Motors -85
Citigroup -77
Alcoa -71
Bank of America -69
American Express -66


Questions? Comments?