In order to mark the historic moment, Dan Akerson, GM CEO, rang the bell to open trading for the day at the NYSE, flanked by key members of the GM management team. Outside, GM parked its latest vehicles on the street to mark the occasion.
Late Wednesday night the price was finally set at $33 per share, but shares opened at a strong $35 a piece. So far, the stock has climbed as high as $35.99, but has since dropped back down to roughly $35.35. The sales generated $20.1 billion for the automaker, marking the most money ever raised on a first day stock offering.
The federal government had a successful day as the Treasury was able to reduce its ownership significantly, selling 75 percent of its common shares and bringing back nearly $12 billion of taxpayer funds. It is estimated that the U.S. government still needs approximately $27 billion in order to break even, which would require GM stock to rise 25 percent to nearly $41 per share.