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Stock Market Game Week in Review

The Stock Market Game is a curriculum-based teaching tool that allows students to invest a hypothetical $100,000 online stock portfolio to learn about long-term saving and investing.

Regardless of whether you voted for Barack Obama, his victory this week is truly historic. While the jubilation in the streets in many cities was comparable to New Year's Eve celebrations, Obama will inherit an economic mess when he enters the White House in late January.

Unemployment is front and center again this week as payrolls shrunk by 240,000 in October, bringing the total number of jobs lost in 2008 to 1.2 million. Despite the release of the unemployment data, Wall Street rallied Friday as investors took advantage of gains from a big selloff earlier in the week.

Stocks plunged in the two sessions following Obama's victory, with the Dow losing 929 points, its biggest two-day point decline ever, according to Dow Jones. The decline followed what some analysts consider to be a classic bear-market rally -- an 18% surge on the S&P 500 in the seven trading sessions through the election.

The government also announced Wednesday it will sell $55 billion in bonds next week as part of a massive borrowing plan to pay for its financial rescue programs. Borrowing is expected to reach a record $550 billion in the final three months of the year. Many analysts project the government will need to borrow an additional $368 billion in the first quarter of 2009. Clearly, things are bound to get a bit worse before we see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The Stock Market Game has recently added the trading of bonds to its program (only in certain states, so check with your coordinator to see if they are available). Your students (and perhaps some of you) may be interested in learning more about them as a possible investment strategy in this turbulent market.
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