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.

Where is Santa? At the corner of Wall and Broad Streets where the New York Stock Exchange sits. Anxious brokers are waiting impatiently for their Santa Claus rally. None is on the horizon so far.

Herculean efforts by the Fed and Treasury are being overshadowed by the looming uncertainty about the new financial laws and regulations President-elect Obama will almost certainly enact. This means credit remains chilly if not frozen and has left banks in a holding pattern. Chrysler and GM ( GM) are in tough negotiations with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to obtain a bridge loan to survive. However, in recent polling it seems many Americans don't want to bail out the automakers even as European and Japanese governments backstop their car companies. It's been a mean, mean season.

Now, the good news (sort of). It's been a tradition at the Stock Market Game, going all the way back to 2006, to give you a look at some of the best performing long positions at the end of each semester. Unfortunately, most of the stocks your students bought and held have lost money since Sept. 2, 2008, which was the opening of the first SMG game window. However, we here at SMG also track volume, so we present to you the most heavily traded stocks of fall 2008. As of Dec. 12, 2008 (the end of the last game window), the top 10 most popular stocks were:

The Stock Market Game's Top 10 Most-Traded Stocks of Fall 2008
  Company
Ticker
Trades
Volume
Price 9/22
Price 12/12
% Gain or Loss
1.
Apple
AAPL
20,148
3,657,083
166.19
98.27
-40.88
2.
WalMart
WMT
11,026
2,277,790
59.39
54.63
-8
3.
McDonald’s
MCD
7,908
1,600,447
62.36
60.59
-2.84
4.
Microsoft
MSFT
7,609
2,108,448
26.92
19.36
-28.08
5.
Nike
NKE
7,364
1,437,147
60.66
49.37
-18.61
6.
General Electric
GE
4,529
1,635,395
28.15
17.11
-39.22
7.
Yahoo
YHOO
4,074
1,447,070
18.75
13.15
-29.87
8.
General Motors
GM
3,204
2,647,889
10.65
3.94
-63
9.
Citigroup
C
2,396
2,005,209
18.87
7.7
-59.19
10.
Wachovia
WB
1,537
1,857,970
16.49
5.29
-67.92
Source: The Stock Market Game Program

So it seems from the list above that the students bought what they knew and followed the news. Unfortunately, in an environment like this one, where virtually everything went down, it was tough to come out ahead. We've learned some hard lessons in SMG classrooms and on Wall Street this fall, but we must remember that bear markets never last forever and that in this holiday season hope springs eternal.

Thank you all for the important work you do with your students through participation in the Stock Market Game program. Happy holidays!

To learn more about The Stock Market Game, visit www.stockmarketgame.org.
This article was written by a staff member of The Stock Market Game.

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