Wall Street Bets on GM as Mary Barra Prepares to Face Congress

Detroit (TheStreet) --- As Mary Barra prepares, two months into her job as GM (GM) CEO, to face two days of Congressional inquiry into the automaker's ignition switch recall, she has the support of Wall Street.

In late morning trading on Monday, GM shares were trading down 40 cents at $34.33. Shares are down about 4% since the automaker announced on Feb. 7 that it would recall about 800,000 cars. The news has gradually gotten worse, with more recalls as well as suggestions that the company ignored dangers that it knew existed. The recalls now total 5 million.

GM was a political football long before the recall issue surfaced. While many in the auto industry, as well as many supporters of President Obama, have applauded the bailout and government-orchestrated bankruptcy that saved the company, others -- led by former presidential candidate Mitt Romney -- have condemned it.

Barra will likely confront political opponents this week. She testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee at 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday and before the Senate Commerce Committee at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Barra's testimony "will hopefully be a positive step toward restoring GM's public image," UBS analyst Colin Langan wrote in a note issued Monday. Kelley Blue Book analyst Karl Brauer said Monday that Barra needs to convince Congress that GM has changed, especially in light of evidence that GM knew about the ignition switch problem a decade ago.

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