General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM): Closing price $36.38
General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. are enhancing their pension plans in a way that should free up cash to develop future hits. The iconic automakers are burdened with some of the heftiest pension obligations among all domestic companies, and said last week that they see meaningful improvement in their plans due to increasing interest rates used to calculate the cost of future payments to retirees. As rates rise, the current cost of those promises falls, allowing pension shortfalls to shrink without ever-larger payments by the firms. Over the long term, this will permit additional spending on the core business, and less on retirees.