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Ticker Shock: Citigroup Paychecks Shrink, GM Gets Mad Money

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Friday's top stories and stocks with potential to move.

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My quiet New Year's Eve at home with the wife and kids was great. We played games, talked, ate those little hot dogs in a bun, and had a great time. I was in bed by 12:15 a.m., and the fact that I imbibed only a couple of glasses of champagne meant I didn't wake up with a hangover. Awesome night all around.

Now, let's get down to business.

The Hang Seng rose more than 4%. Europe was showing me some single-digit percentage gains earlier this morning. And here in the US, we're currently trading higher.

It seems that a 50% federal tax hike on fuel may be in the works, given the fact that people are driving less, buying less gas, and tendering less money in taxes.

Though government officials supposedly want us to buy fuel-efficient cars and drive less, they also kind of want us to buy plenty of gas, so they can tax it. This is clearly one of those "things that make you go hmm."

And did they consider companies that transport their goods by trucks - and how this move might impact their profits and thus their ability to pay taxes?

General Motors (GM)
On Wednesday, the Treasury finalized the first $4 billion tranche for GM's federal loan.

When my friend was in the Marine Corps he used to tell me how he sometimes wished he didn't have any money in his pocket when he visited certain bases, because he knew he'd run through his billfold in no time flat thanks to the local nightlife.

Long story short -- and I'm sorry about this, GM bulls -- but I couldn't help but think of my friend when I heard this news. I wonder if the company would end up burning through this money in short order. I also simultaneously heard this swirling, flushing sound.

Curious indeed.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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