Any time IPOs increase in size and price it is a good sign, said Reena Aggarwal, a professor of finance at Georgetown McDonough School of Business. "GM's ability to successfully come out with an IPO during choppy times demonstrates that investors are extremely interested in the deal," says Aggarwal.
And, if the markets are any indication, the economy is improving. After the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell below 7,000 in March of 2009 during the financial crisis, it has risen above 11,000.
It's been a tough climb for the investors, and even harder for GM. The re-routed road to success was laced with potholes for the 102-year-old automaker, which was once one of the nation's most valuable companies. After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009, the company was removed from the Dow Jones average, which is comprised of 30 companies. The stock was all but worthless when the government dished out TARP funds.
Despite the bailout by taxpayers, small investors may have a hard time getting the stock at the initial price. There's ownership by the U.S. government, the Canadian government and Chinese involvement in at least two different ways: investment banks in the deal are partly Chinese-owned and SAIC, the country's largest carmaker, took a 1 percent ownership stake.
GM has sold over 2 million cars in China, grabbing a 14 percent share of the market. The company made a $2 billion third-quarter profit, it's first since 2004.
"It's fascinating that three countries are involved with this company," says Aggarwal. "This is the only time this has happened."
The U.S. Treasury will take a loss on its shares in the sale, and can break even only if they climb more than 60 percent, according to analysis by Bloomberg News.
Additional reporting from ABC News' Aaron Katersky, Dan Arnall and Matthew Jaffe. The Associated Press also contributed to this story.