Updated from 3:11 p.m. EDT
Recently, the index was up 4.3% at 7593. Earlier, it reached 7616. Were it to close at its current level, it would be the highest finish for the industrials since Feb. 13. All 30 components remain higher, paced by increases of nearly 19% in Bank of America ( BAC) and 17% in Citigroup ( C). The moves elsewhere weren't bad either, as 18 stocks overall had gains of 4% or better.
So far, the government's plan to aid the banks in shedding their worst assets is being well received. Even if the plan's not perfect, traders think the pieces are coming together that will get lending and the economy going again. And all this time you thought they didn't like government interference in the business world.
The Dow saw all 30 of its stocks rise, led on a percentage basis by, not surprisingly, the financials. Citigroup ( C) was the best performer, up 18% at $3.10. Bank of America ( BAC) was gaining 16% to $7.19. JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) was higher by nearly 13% at $26.14, and American Express ( AXP) was ahead by 9% at $13.36.
Almost bank General Electric ( GE) was climbing 7% to $10.21. The weakest stock thus far is McDonald's ( MCD), and it's still up 0.7% at $53.58. Thanks to this latest increase, the Dow has improved right at 1,000 points from its 12-year low on March 9. Depending on your perspective, that's either impressive or terrifying.