By Mike Colias 

After years of shunning the U.S.'s two largest car companies, investors are finally starting to kick the tires on General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co.

Ford shares have surged about 20% this week and have risen about 35% in January, which would mark their best month since April 2009. The move this week followed a Deutsche Bank report suggesting Ford could give a brighter-than-expected profit outlook for 2021 when it reports fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 4.

GM's stock price also has jumped about 35% this month, to a record level since shares began trading in 2010, following the auto giant's bankruptcy a year earlier. The jump has come amid enthusiasm over GM's electric-vehicle plans and Microsoft Corp.'s investment this week in Cruise, GM's majority-owned autonomous-car division.

Investors have come to expect double-digit stock moves from Tesla Inc. and a bevy of electric-vehicle startups that have gone public over the last year. But until lately, Detroit's auto makers haven't benefited much from Wall Street's fixation with electric and driverless cars.

The stock performance of both GM and Ford has trailed that of the S&P 500 index in each of the last four years, despite periods of record profit for each company.

Write to Mike Colias at Mike.Colias@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 21, 2021 13:14 ET (18:14 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.