GM stock rises as government sells off more shares

DETROIT (AP) General Motors could be free of government ownership by year's end, and that sent the company's stock up on Wednesday.

News that the government sold $1.2 billion in GM stock last month was released by the Treasury Department Tuesday. It didn't say how many shares were sold. But based on the average price in October, the government now owns less than 4 percent of GM.

Buckingham analyst Joseph Amaturo says the government could be out by the end of December. He says that could clear a path for dividends in 2014.

GM shares rose $1.08, nearly 3 percent, to $37.74 at midday.

The Treasury says it has recovered $37.2 billion of the $49.5 billion spent to bail out GM five years ago. But taxpayers are still $12.3 billion in the hole.

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