Stocks Trying to Regain Momentum

The S&P 500 snapped a six-day winning streak, falling less than 2 points yesterday. The Dow gave up 38 points, but the Nasdaq rose less than 2, while trading volume was under 2.5 billion shares, the lightest full trading day so far this year.

After digesting a more robust reading on retail sales this morning, stock futures are pointing to solid gains, with Dow futures up about 50 points.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) shares ended at $20.47 Monday, less than half of the $53-a-share level needed for the government to break even on its bailout of the automaker at the height of the financial crisis.

The Treasury Department now says the government expects to lose more than $25 billion on the $85 billion auto bailout - 15% higher than its previous forecast. Even worse: the report may still underestimate the losses as it only covers the period ending May 31.

Speaking of autos, when a car's front corner hits something, what happens? That was the focus of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's new crash tests of luxury cars. It simulated what the effects of the front corner of a sedan hitting another vehicle or an object like a tree or a pole.

The findings were disturbing: Just three of 11 luxury cars passed the new tests: the Acura TL, Volvo S60, and Infiniti G.

Four models failed: the Audi A4, Lexus ES 350, Lexus IS 250/350, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

The Institute says non-luxury models will be tested next.