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GM stock above $33 for 1st time in 2 years

DETROIT – Shares of General Motors reached an important milestone on Friday, topping their initial public offering price of $33 for the first time in more than two years.

The automaker’s stock, which has been on a tear since January, reached $33.58 Friday morning before slipping back to $33.52, up 3.5 percent, around midday.

The auto giant sold shares to the public for $33 in a November 2010 IPO, but they hadn’t traded above that price since May 4, 2011.

The rally is good news for the U.S. Treasury, which has been selling off its GM holdings. Taxpayers still own 241.7 million shares, as a result of the government’s $49.5 billion bailout of the company in 2008 and 2009.

GM two weeks ago reported strong first-quarter earnings on sales in North America and China. The shares have gained almost 14 percent this year.

Friday’s increase was likely because of general market gains and better prospects in Europe, where GM has lost money for more than a dozen years.

The European automakers association said Friday that registrations rose last month for the first time in 18 months. European Union sales were up 1.7 percent, but GM sales fell 4.5 percent.

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