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GM Suspends Employee Stock Purchases

Automaker said Tuesday it has suspended employee stock purchases through two 401(k) programs because workers have bought all the available shares.

DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors Corp. said Tuesday it has suspended employee stock purchases through two 401(k) programs because workers have bought all the available shares.

GM said in a regulatory filing that the suspension "is the result of recent unexpectedly high demand among the plans' participants due to increased employee interest and a lower market price for the common stock."

The filing did not give the number of shares the employees purchased, but said GM stock purchases within the plans would be halted until GM files a statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to register additional shares. The company said it expects to file that during the week of Nov. 9.

Until then, investments of employees who have elected to buy GM shares will go into other funds, according to the filing.

The filing also said GM notified its directors and executive officers that they cannot buy or dispose of any GM equity securities that were acquired in connection with their employment. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act generally prohibits directors and officers from trading in their company's stock when most participants in the company's stock plans are not able to purchase or sell stock.

GM shares closed Tuesday at $9.45, 78 percent below their 52-week high of $43.20. The shares rose 94 cents, or 11 percent, Tuesday after plunging nearly 13 percent to $8.51 Monday. Adjusted for splits and other changes, that was the stock's lowest price since June 10, 1954, according to the Center for Research in Security Prices at the University of Chicago.

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