Wall Street rallied on the second to last trading day of the year as the financing arm for General Motors Corp. (GM), GMAC, was given a $5 billion loan from the government. The three major U.S. indices ended the day higher. The Dow Jones industrial average [[^DJI]] added 2.17% and closed with 8,668 points. The Nasdaq composite index [[^IXIC]] was up 2.67% and closed with 1,550 points. While the S&P 500 index [[^GSPC]] rose 2.44% and finished with 890 points. The Russell 2000 index [[^RUT]] went up 3.57% and closed at 482 points. Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average [[^N225]] gained 1.28% in its final session of the year, while Britain's FSTE 100 [[^FTSE]] rose 1.7%.Light, sweet crude was down by $0.99, and closed Tuesday at $39.03 per barrel. Natural Gas prices were down by $0.24 and settled at a price of $5.84. Gold prices were also down, and finished at $873 on Tuesday.

The Consumer Confidence Index fell for the month of December according to the Conference Board. The index was at 44.7 during the month of November, as the holiday shopping season was one of the worst for retailers in years. The Case-Shiller 10-City index measures home prices to be down 25% now, while the 20-city index is down 23%.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) saw a dip in its share price after a report that the health of CEO Steve Jobs was "rapidly declining". The maker of iPod music player declined to comment, and slightly recovered some of the losses.

Collapsed investment bank Lehman Brothers Holding Inc. asked for six more months to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy as it puts together its plans to pay creditors with cash from the sale of assets.

Be sure to check in tomorrow (Wednesday) as it will be the last trading day of 2008.

Disclosure: None