Stocks surged Thursday as good news outweighed fears about the latest unemployment data due Friday.

Banks led the list of most-searched stocks on

Shares of Citigroup ( C), Bank of America ( BAC), State Street ( STT) and Wells Fargo ( WFC) were advancing after the Financial Accounting Standards Board voted to ease mark-to-market accounting rules.

Also, three of Japan's biggest banks are reportedly bidding for Citi's brokerage unit, Nikko Cordial .

In an interview with CNBC, Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis was optimistic about BofA's profitability and the overall economic outlook. Lewis did say that it would take multiple quarters for the company to pay back its government loans.

FTN Equity Capital initiated coverage of State Street with a buy rating

General Electric ( GE) is teaming up with Intel ( INTC) launching a $250 million venture to target the home health care market.

AIG's ( AIG) former CEO Hank Greenberg testified in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that the government was to blame for the failures at the insurance behemoth.

Next is General Motors. The car maker reported a 45% decline in March auto sales which was better than expected.

Switching gears, First Solar ( FSLR) is up. The stock slipped earlier in the week when Barron's reported that cheaper silicon will hurt the company's competitive advantage. On the positive side, the Chinese government said it would provide more support for its solar industry.

Apple ( AAPL) is next. The Palm ( PALM) Pre and its WebOS are putting heat on the iPhone. Also, competitor Research In Motion ( RIMM) reports on Thursday.

Rounding out the list is Pepsi ( PEP). Cramer said on Mad Money that he wants to pull the trigger on this stock. To see how he's buying shares for his Action Alerts Plus Portfolio for a free trial now.
Alix joined TV in February 2007. Previously, she held positions in film and theater production, management, and legal administration. Alix has a degree in communications and theater from Northwestern University.

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