Stocks Open Higher After Automaker Bailout News

NEW YORK (AP) -- Wall Street has opened higher as investors cheered the government's pledge to lend as much as $17.4 billion to the U.S. automaking industry.

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.

Investors have also veen worried about broader job market ramifications of a bankruptcy of an automaker like General Motors Corp. or Chrysler LLC.

In the first minutes of trading, the Dow is up 107 points to the 8,712 level.

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