Updated from 11:40 a.m. EDT
Bankruptcy is almost assured for the Detroit carmaker now that bondholders failed to go along with the company's proposed debt-for-equity exchange. So we'll know for sure in a few days if we're left with what amounts to the Automaker of the United States of America. AMUSA? I don't know about that. If Chapter 11 and that much federal involvement do in fact come, it could very well mean the end of GM's days in the Dow. It's been in the index continuously since 1925, and before that it was in briefly around the time of WWI. The last time a change was made to the industrial average was in September, when AIG ( AIG) was kicked out and replaced with Kraft ( KFT). Back then, John Prestbo, editor of Dow Jones Indexes, noted that the decision followed "the effective nationalization of AIG and its very low stock price." Maybe I'm alone here, but a 70% stake about qualifies as nationalization to me. And GM was recently trading at $1.28, down 11% on the day. Just something to think about. On the whole the Dow was little changed, off 28 points. Among the stocks, 15 were lower, with GM the worst performer on a percentage basis. Most of the other declines were modest. The winners were also seeing minimal moves. Intel ( INTC), up 1.8% at $15.76, was the top stock, followed by Wal-Mart ( WMT), which added 1.3% to $50.66.