Updated from 2:23 p.m. EDT

Financial stocks rallied Thursday, as investors were emboldened by Wells Fargo's ( WFC) announcement that it would soon report an unexpectedly large first-quarter profit.

Wells Fargo shares surged 31.7% after it surprised investors by saying it would post a "record" profit of approximately $3 billion for first quarter 2009, or 55 cents a share, blowing past analysts' expectations of 23 cents a share. Wells Fargo shares closed up $4.72 to $19.61.

The positive news from Wells Fargo, which just completed its first full quarter since acquiring Wachovia, pushed other banks into the black on Thursday. The Keefe Bruyette & Woods Bank index surged 20.1% to 33.81.

Reuters reported on Thursday that U.S. government officials are not planning on closing any banks as a result of the "stress tests," expected to be completed by the end of the month. The stress tests will assess how much additional capital banks would need if the economy were to deteriorate further.

"You can't close a bank based on a hypothetical," a source close to the situation said, according to Reuters. "And you wouldn't want to anyhow, based on the size of the banks."

Shares of Bank of America ( BAC) soared 35.3% to $9.55, while Citigroup ( C) shares rose 12.6% to $3.04. Shares of JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) rose 19.4% to $32.75.

Other winners included Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB) , which rose 35.6% to $3.58, SunTrust Banks ( STI) shares were up 30.6% to $14.14, Capital One Financial ( COF) shares jumped 26% to $17.46 and American Express ( AXP) rose 19.8% to $18.83.

Few financial stocks were falling on Thursday, but H&R Block ( HRB) stood out. Shares of the tax services provider closed down 4.9% cents to $15.57.

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