Updated from 12:02 p.m. EDT

This Month Is Good After All

( At 5:50 p.m. EDT)

How do you like them apples? The Dow Jones Industrial Average got the second quarter started in fine style, rising 152.68 points, or 2%, to 7761.60 Wednesday.

If the quarter ended right now, the Dow would be up 2%. That's going to have count as my April Fools' Day humor, because it's too late in the day to gather the energy for anything better.

Now let's be serious. The index saw 27 of its 30 components rise, while one, Intel ( INTC), was unchanged. American Express ( AXP) was the top percentage gainer, climbing 7.4% to $14.44.

Citigroup ( C), JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) and Microsoft ( MSFT) were each up more than 5%. DuPont ( DD) overcame unfavorable commentary from an analyst to advance almost that much.

The only laggards were two manufacturers -- General Motors ( GM), again, and Boeing ( BA). In both cases, though, the losses were minimal. GM slipped 1 cent to $1.93, and Boeing shed 14 cents to $35.44.

On Thursday, remember to be on the lookout for any developments coming out of the Financial Accounting Standards Board meeting that will deal with mark-to-market guidelines. The banks are really hoping to see this go in their favor, and it could have a considerable impact on earnings. Stay tuned.

Not Great, but Not Terrible


( At 11:40 am. EDT)

I've been trying to come up with a clever comment about who the April Fools' Day joke is on, but it's just not happening. So I'll stick to the facts.

Some of the day's economic data wasn't as horrendous as traders had feared, and we've got a rally going. The Dow, lower by more than 100 points shortly after the open, was recently up 57 points.

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