Updated from 3:44 p.m. EDT

One Day to Go

( At 5:39 p.m. EDT)

Maybe the market should be open for an hour every day. Or even 30 minutes. It would save us all a lot of guessing, speculating, waiting for reversals that may or may not happen and trying to figure out what exactly is going on with stocks at any given time.

Here's a summary of Wednesday's session: The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher, only to fall back at midmorning. Then it rallied into the afternoon, dropped when the minutes of the Fed meeting came out, only to bounce in the final hour to finish with a gain of 47.55 points, or 0.6%, at 7837.11.

This pattern should be familiar if you've paid any attention whatsoever to the market over the past couple of years. Chaos, fear or uncertainty almost every day. Hard to remember the last time we had a nice, calm session.

Look at a one-day chart. How many times have we seen those jagged peaks and valleys drawn in the few hours that stocks trade in New York?

Ultimately 18 industrials rose, and 12 fell. American Express ( AXP) was the top percentage gainer, adding 4.7% to $15.72. Next was Alcoa ( AA), which added 3.5% to $8.06.

Bank of America ( BAC), down 4.1% at $7.06, and General Motors ( GM), off 3.5% at $1.93, had the poorest showings.

With the gain, the Dow's month-to-date increase went to 3%.

Thursday's the last trading day of the week, and next week the earnings crush will really begin. Let's look forward to that three-day weekend. Sit down and watch the Masters. Relax. Might be a while before we get a vacation.

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