- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wall Street opened Wednesday with losses, following another sign General Motors Corp. is getting closer to bankruptcy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 34.09 points, to 8,439.40, in early trading. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500-stocks Index was at 907.79, down 2.54 points, and the tech-heavy NASDAQ was down 8.76 points, to 1,741.67.

General Motors said not enough bondholders have agreed to trade their debt for stock in the automaker. The company has until Monday to complete a restructuring plan or file for bankruptcy.

The National Association of Realtors is scheduled to report Wednesday morning the number of existing home sales in April, which analysts expect to be an increase from the previous month.

In addition, the National Association for Business Economics is expected to release a report stating roughly 90 percent of economists think the recession will end this year, matching the Federal Reserve’s outlook.

RELATED STORY: Survey: Most economists see recession end in ‘09

U.S. markets closed Tuesday up more than 2 percent, with the Dow gaining 196 points. The gains followed a report that consumer confidence increased in May and reached its highest mark since September.

The markets are up roughly 25 percent since hitting a 12-year low in early March. The Dow is up 29.4 percent but down 40.2 percent from its record high in October 2007.

Investors over the past couple of weeks have been less enthusiastic about optimistic reports and appear more concerned about the markets recovering too fast and growing too big amid such lingering problems as high unemployment, tight credit, a struggling housing market and the global economy.

Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average rose 1.37 percent. In afternoon trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.12 percent, Germany’s DAX index rose 0.28 percent, and France’s CAC-40 rose 0.53 percent.

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