Updated from 1:57 p.m. EDT

Did That Really Happen?

( At 5:25 p.m. EDT)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had its best day since November on Tuesday, closing up 379.44 points, or 5.8%, at 6926.49. All 30 of its components rose, and financials had the most impressive performance on a percentage basis.

Citigroup ( C), in which a staggering 1.1 billion shares traded, added 38% to $1.45. Bank of America ( BAC) bounded ahead by almost 28% to $4.79.

Because of the way the index is weighted, Citi contributed only 3.19 points to the overall advance, but JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) was good for nearly 29. IBM ( IBM) was the top stock in this category, accounting for just above 30 points of the move.

Is it for real? Tomorrow's a new day. A flat or slightly down Dow wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but if we get a 400-point selloff ... . I'll stop there. I'm already irritated thinking about it.

For the session, the index was strong throughout and closed at its high. While it might be hard to believe, it was the third time in the last five trading days the Dow finished in the green. Back-to-back gains haven't happened in more than a month. Maybe Wednesday will change that.

The Stock Market Is Unstoppable

( At 1:22 p.m. EDT)

Citigroup ( C) got it together in the first two months of the year. Barney Frank reportedly says the uptick rule might make a comeback. Ben Bernanke, whose recent anti-nationalization comments have been welcomed on Wall Street, didn't scare anybody off. Let's get this rally started.

On the Dow, all 30 stocks were up in the early afternoon, and the index was gaining nearly 300 points, which thanks to being half of where we were in the fall of 2007, now means an improvement of more than 4%.

Times like this it's mighty easy to forget about that little recession issue. Makes you almost think you heard your grandparents or neighbors say something vague about a credit crisis long, long ago. Maybe it was a network miniseries on the end of civilization. Doesn't matter, all's good now.

Fine, enough with the fun-having. The rally was actually something to behold, even if it does turn out to be just another one-day trip down memory lane to a time when stocks used to occasionally rise. Citi was up 32% to $1.39. Bank of America ( BAC) was jumping 26% to $4.73. JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) was adding 19%. Financials showing leadership again?

General Electric ( GE) was better by 18%. Later, haters.

The worst stock was McDonald's ( MCD), up 8 cents, or 0.2%, at $52.40. We can forgive the burger seller for taking it easy, though. McDonald's never got eviscerated, so if it doesn't get a double-digit increase this fine day, no one's going to be alarmed.

So Far, So Good

( At 8:45 a.m. EDT)

Unless something horrible happens in the next few minutes, and with this market that's always a possibility, Wall Street is headed for a higher open Tuesday. Dow futures recently were up more than 100 points at 6646.

Greatly helping the mood were comments from Citigroup ( C) CEO Vikram Pandit, who said in a letter to employees that the bank has started out this year in fine form. "In fact, we are profitable through the first two months of 2009 and are having our best quarter-to-date performance since the third quarter of 2007," Pandit wrote.

Revenue, excluding planned writedowns, totaled $19 billion in January and February. (The entire letter can be found on the SEC's Web site.) Following the remarks, Citi was up 18% in the premarket. Well done.

Of course the stock is still only at $1.24. We all know about the punishing selloff in the shares, but just in case you don't I'll note that they've fallen more than 80% since the end of 2008 alone. Maybe though, this will be a turn for Citi. There's at least as much of a chance that it won't be, I suppose, but you have to start somewhere.

Several other Dow components were in the headlines early, and unfortunately it was mostly for the wrong reasons. Pali Research cut Disney ( DIS) to sell from neutral and put a $12.50 price target on the stock, while Wal-Mart ( WMT) was lowered to hold from buy at Citi with a $53 target. At Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) was taken off the conviction buy list, according to CNBC.

Despite the moves, H-P was up 1.5%, Wal-Mart was barely changed and Disney wasn't trading, so no real damage so far.

We'll have to wait and see what happens on United Technologies ( UTX), which lowered its forecast, partly because of restructuring and job-cutting costs. The company now expects to earn around $4 to $4.50 a share this year and said it will eliminate more than 11,000 workers. On top of that, United has decided to pare its buyback plans in half, to $1 billion.

More from Opinion

Trump Blinks on China Trade War That's Looking Harder to Win

Trump Blinks on China Trade War That's Looking Harder to Win

Monday Madness: GE, China, and Micron

Monday Madness: GE, China, and Micron

Attention 60 Minutes: Google Isn't the Only Big-Tech Monopoly

Attention 60 Minutes: Google Isn't the Only Big-Tech Monopoly

How Technology Will Unleash the Legal Marijuana Industry's Growth Potential

How Technology Will Unleash the Legal Marijuana Industry's Growth Potential

Apple Buys Tesla? Amazon Buys Sears? 3 Dream Mergers That Just Make Sense

Apple Buys Tesla? Amazon Buys Sears? 3 Dream Mergers That Just Make Sense