Dow Watch: Weekday Confusion

On a percentage basis, Bank of America and Citigroup had the best days.
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Updated from 3:21 p.m. EDT

You're Not Mistaken

(

At 5:30 p.m. EDT

)

No, you're not confused. Today is Wednesday, not Thursday. You're forgiven if you thought otherwise.

Here's the thing. We were supposed to get the results of the government's

stress tests

tomorrow, and don't worry, we still will. However, with all the leaks, it looks like we know about everything there is to know. So much for drama.

At any rate, the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

rose 101.63, or 1.2%, to 8512.28. That was the best finish since Jan. 9. Advancing issues outnumbered losers 18 to 11, and one stock,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

, was flat.

Image placeholder title

Disney

(DIS) - Get Report

and

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

had the most to do with the increase, accounting for about 40 points of the total.

Along with JPMorgan Chase, the other financial components of the DJIA were on investors' radar all day, owing to the, we'll call them upcoming, results of the government's investigation into capital levels at the 19 biggest banks. So far no one seems alarmed, even at some of the

large numbers we're seeing

.

On a percentage basis,

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

, up 17.1% to $12.69, and

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

, better by 16.6% at $3.86, had the best days.

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

added 2.2% to $27.14.

GM

(GM) - Get Report

had the worst showing, dropping 10.3% to $1.66. As a reminder, its

results are due

before the opening bell Thursday. Analysts expect it to lose $11.05 a share on revenue of $20.19 billion for the March quarter.

The Dow continues to edge closer to break-even for the year, and now it's down only 3%. Still, the longer view isn't as good, with the index off 33.6% in the past 52 weeks.

No Worries for Some

(

At 3:01 p.m. EDT

)

At this point, maybe we can just skip the government's stress test findings. Seems an awful lot is already known about who needs capital, how much they need, and who's in fine shape. Who cares about tomorrow?

The latest report I'm seeing, at least that pertains to

Dow

components, is that

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

and

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

won't need added capital. This is according to

The Wall Street Journal

.

Various reports in recent days have said fellow industrials

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

and

Citigroup

(BAC) - Get Report

will have to fill some holes to satisfy government investigators.

With an hour left in the day, all four stocks were in the green, led by BofA, which was up 15% to $12.49. Citigroup was adding 14.5% to $3.79.

JPMorgan and AmEx, the better ones remember, or so we think, were up more modest amounts, adding about 4% each. The Dow overall was gaining 90 points to 8500.

Are We Clear on This?

(

At 12:45 p.m. EDT

)

That market's at it again. Early on, it was in trouble.

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

was hit with worries

about its capital

, and its shares were sinking. Index futures were slumping.

Stress test results pending.

Look out below.

Not so fast though. ADP came out and said it didn't even see half a million job losses last month. Not everything's good here, but consider that the estimate was for more than 600,000 workers to leave private payrolls, so the latest numbers were seen as a step in the direction toward a recovery. That's how bad it's been in the labor market.

As for BofA, a closer look revealed

it has options

. Of course, one of those options might leave the federal government with a giant stake in the bank.

Maybe not ideal, though perhaps

not terrible either

, and its shares rose 12.7% to $12.22. Last time it closed above $12 was Jan. 9.

For the

Dow

itself, it was up 57 points at 8467 recently. So far, the index has traded between roughly 8403 and 8505.

Along with BofA, the other financials were also higher.

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

was gaining 6.3% to $3.52, while

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

and

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

were adding more than 4% each. And by the way, why wait for the

test results

when you can get them now?

Disney

(DIS) - Get Report

was also having a big day, up 11.6% to $25.83

following its earnings

after the prior close.

The losers weren't in terrible shape, with the exception of

GM

(GM) - Get Report

, which slid 10.8% to $1.65. On Thursday, the carmaker will issue its first-quarter results. Could very well be bad. No surprise there.

More importantly, next time the company has a quarterly report, it will likely

look awfully different

than it does now.