Updated from 1:21 p.m. EDT

Back in Form

( At 4:37 p.m. EDT)

So much for the end of the rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average bounced back from the downtick that started the week to surge ahead by 178.73 points, or 2.5%, to 7395.70 Tuesday. That was the highest finish since Feb. 19.

Only three of its 30 stocks declined. Alcoa ( AA) had the steepest drop, falling 8.7% to $5.59, a day after saying it would slash its dividend, lower other costs and look to raise capital.

GM ( GM) shed 2% to $2.47, and the other laggard was Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), but it only gave back 1 cent to $50.72.

None of that was enough to prevent the fifth advance in the last six trading sessions. JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) was the top performer, rising 8.9% to $25.14. Next up was Citigroup ( C) with a 7.7% gain to $2.51. Home Depot ( HD) was also strong, adding 6.7% at $21.48.

With the latest move higher, the Dow is now up 4.7% since the start of the month, a far cry from what happened in January and February. We've got two weeks to go in March, but it's not too early to start thinking we might see the first positive month of 2009.

See? All's Well Again

( At 12:34 p.m. EDT)

The Dow spent the morning Tuesday unsure where it wanted to go, but right around the midpoint of the session the index was hitting its high for the day, up 83 points, or 1.2%, at 7300. Of the 30 stocks, 20 were rising and the other 10 were lower. Yesterday's late buyers break is all forgotten now.

Citigroup ( C) was pacing the advancing issues, gaining 6% to $2.47. The other financials were mixed. JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) was up 4.3%, but American Express ( AXP) and Bank of America ( BAC) were falling.

Three of those stocks -- Citi, BofA and JPMorgan -- were initiated with perform ratings at Oppenheimer, the firm where Meredith Whitney used to take apart the banks.

Financials weren't the only Dow components in the headlines, though. Home Depot ( HD) was among the percentage winners, adding 4.8% to $21.11, after Jefferies gave the home-improvement goods seller a buy rating and a $24 target. AT&T ( T) was better by 2.6% at $25 despite a decision by Standard & Poor's to cut its long-term outlook on the telecom company to negative from stable.

General Electric ( GE) was tacking on 2.1% to $9.86 following comments from Oppenheimer that the conglomerate has manageable balance sheet risk and shouldn't need to raise new equity.

As for General Motors ( GM), where advisers to bondholders and to President Obama's auto task force don't appear to be seeing completely eye to eye, its shares were down 4% at $2.42.

More from Opinion

Apple Needs to Figure Out Its Self-Driving Vehicle Strategy

Apple Needs to Figure Out Its Self-Driving Vehicle Strategy

Throwback Thursday: Tesla, Chip Stocks, TheStreet's Picks

Throwback Thursday: Tesla, Chip Stocks, TheStreet's Picks

12 Stocks That Our Writers and Their Sources Recommend You Buy Here

12 Stocks That Our Writers and Their Sources Recommend You Buy Here

Musk Goes on Unoriginal Media Tirade

Musk Goes on Unoriginal Media Tirade

What's Happening in Video Games This Week: On the Road to E3

What's Happening in Video Games This Week: On the Road to E3