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Financial Winners and Losers: Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo's announcement that it would post a bigger-than-expected profit lifted financial stocks Thursday.

Updated from 2:23 p.m. EDT

Financial stocks rallied Thursday, as investors were emboldened by

Wells Fargo's

(WFC) - Get Wells Fargo & Company Report

announcement that it would soon report an unexpectedly large first-quarter profit.

Wells Fargo

shares surged 31.7% after it surprised investors by saying it would post a "record" profit of approximately $3 billion for first quarter 2009, or 55 cents a share, blowing past analysts' expectations of 23 cents a share. Wells Fargo shares closed up $4.72 to $19.61.

The positive news from Wells Fargo, which just completed its first full quarter since acquiring

Wachovia

, pushed other banks into the black on Thursday. The Keefe Bruyette & Woods Bank index surged 20.1% to 33.81.

Reuters

reported on Thursday that U.S. government officials are not planning on closing any banks as a result of the "stress tests," expected to be completed by the end of the month. The stress tests will assess how much additional capital banks would need if the economy were to deteriorate further.

"You can't close a bank based on a hypothetical," a source close to the situation said, according to

Reuters

. "And you wouldn't want to anyhow, based on the size of the banks."

Shares of

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Bank of America Corp Report

soared 35.3% to $9.55, while

Citigroup

(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report

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shares rose 12.6% to $3.04. Shares of

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Report

rose 19.4% to $32.75.

Other winners included

Fifth Third Bancorp

(FITB) - Get Fifth Third Bancorp Report

, which rose 35.6% to $3.58,

SunTrust Banks

(STI) - Get SunTrust Banks, Inc. Report

shares were up 30.6% to $14.14,

Capital One Financial

(COF) - Get Capital One Financial Corporation Report

shares jumped 26% to $17.46 and

American Express

(AXP) - Get American Express Company Report

rose 19.8% to $18.83.

Few financial stocks were falling on Thursday, but

H&R Block

(HRB) - Get H&R Block, Inc. (HRB) Report

stood out. Shares of the tax services provider closed down 4.9% cents to $15.57.