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.

The Stock Market Game Week in Review: Spring 2009 Inaugural Edition

Happy New Year!

Stocks rallied in the early days of 2009, but have soured as of late. Friday, the federal government came to the assistance of Bank of America ( BAC) with $20 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The funds will help the bank absorb Merrill Lynch. Markets liked what they saw as banks led a Friday morning rally sending the Dow and S&P 500 higher. Alas, while both indicators closed the day in positive territory, they were down for the week.

Citigroup ( C) led much of the week's news announcing that it will sell Smith Barney to Morgan Stanley ( MS) and abandon its "financial supermarket" business model in order to raise capital. The new strategy will split the bank in two, leaving performing assets on one side and troubled assets on the other.

Wall Street is crossing its fingers and hoping that the downtrend that prevailed most of this week will not lead to a testing of the Nov. 20, 2008 bottom on the Dow. Many economists believe that the first two quarters of this year will bring more bad news, but that the economy will begin its recovery in the second half. Others are not so sanguine and predict that a rebound will elude us until 2010. There are also some prophets of doom out there saying we won't see growth until 2011. However, they're a small cohort. Let's hope they're wrong.

In other news, President-elect Obama's transition team announced that the second half of the TARP money for banks that was approved by the Senate Thursday will have more oversight and strings attached. Obama also rolled out an $825 billion stimulus package that he vows will be his first order of business when he takes office at 12:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Jan. 20.

There is likely to be significant wrangling in Congress over the stimulus package and teachers enrolled in a year-long SMG may find this a perfect opportunity to use SMG's "Buy, Sell, or Hold" lesson. Among other considerations, the lesson discusses how current events can affect markets, sectors and stocks. Whatever shape the President-elect's stimulus finally takes, it will be certain to affect positively or negatively certain sectors and companies. (Don't miss " Coming Week: New President, Old Concerns")

For teachers that are just beginning this semester, we also have a lesson entitled, "Getting Started in the Stock Market Game." The lesson is designed to help teachers and students understand how trades are made, how investment strategies are developed and how stock purchase prices are determined in the Stock Market Game. Both lessons are available in the Teacher Support Center by logging in with your teacher ID and password.

In closing, the Week in Review gives a quick shout-out to the undeniable hero of the week, US Airways ( LCC) Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger. We think we speak for all his passengers, New Yorkers and New Jerseyans when we say: Way to go! And thank you.

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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