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Dow Watch: Bank of America Leads Rally

Stocks in this article: BAC

Updated from 11:12 a.m. EDT

Back Above 8500

( At 4:55 p.m. EDT)

If you were looking for the bears to pick up this week where they left off the last one, you were badly disappointed.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 235.44 points, or 2.9%, to 8504.08 Monday as all but one of its components climbed. That's just the fourth time in 2009 that a week has started with an up session for the Dow.

AT&T (T) was the one laggard, down 1.2% at $24.59.

Bank of America (BAC) paced the winners with a 9.9% gain to $11.73. IBM (IBM) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) had the biggest influence on the overall point increase, however, accounting for about 44 points of the total.

The index remains on track to record its third straight monthly gain, and so far it's up 4.1% since the beginning of May. The loss for the year now stands at 3.1%.

As for tomorrow, quarterly results are due from Home Depot (HD) early and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) late, and JPMorgan will hold its annual meeting of shareholders during the day.

BofA Leads the Banks

( At 10:50 a.m. EDT)

Nice start to the week for the Dow. A little over an hour in to the session, the index was near its high for the day, up 153 points, or 1.9%, at 8421.

Only four of the 30 stocks in the DJIA were weaker, all of them by less than 1%. McDonald's (MCD) and Merck (MRK) were the worst performers, and they were down just 0.8%.

Banks were among the strongest percentage gainers, led by a 10.5% advance in Bank of America (BAC) to $11.79. BofA was increasing thanks to a Goldman Sachs upgrade, which more than offset negative comments from Fitch Ratings.

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