The decision to help the struggling companies comes after a $14 billion bailout for Detroit automakers failed to emerge from the Senate last week.
The companies' cash flows have been dwindling to a slow trickle due to the weak economy and credit crunch. The White House will let automakers draw $13.4 billion in short-term financing, and another $4 billion will be added later.
In the first minutes of trading, the Dow is up 107 points to the 8,712 level.
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