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Auto stocks slide with poor US sales results ahead

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[July 01, 2008]  DETROIT (AP) -- Shares of General Motors Corp. dropped to their lowest level in more than half a century, and Ford Motor Co. stock tumbled to a new low yesterday, a day before U.S. automakers announce what's expected to be a bleak monthly report today on auto sales.

GM shares hit $10.57 shortly after the market opened yesterday, falling below the previous 52-week low of $11.21, which was also their lowest level in more than 53 years. But the shares later rebounded to $11.50, down 5 cents, or 0.4 percent, from Friday's close of $11.55. They have traded as high as $43.20 in the past year.

The last time GM shares dropped below $10.57 was on Sept. 22, 1954, when they hit $10.47, according to the Center for Research in Security Prices at the University of Chicago. The price is adjusted for splits and other changes.

Ford shares on Monday fell to $4.46, below the previous 52-week low of $4.90, before recovering to close at $4.81. That was still down 17 cents, or 3.4 percent, from Friday's close of $4.98. The shares have traded as high as $9.70 over the past year.

Ford, GM and privately held Chrysler LLC have seen huge sales declines ever since gas prices started to rise dramatically in February and the U.S. market shifted away from trucks and sport utility vehicles to smaller, more fuel efficient cars and crossovers.

All have cut production of pickups and announced plans for additional new small vehicles, but those won't reach showrooms until sometime in 2010.

June sales figures are due out on Tuesday.

[Associated Press; By TOM KRISHER]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.






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