Updated from 3:15 p.m. EDT

Make It Five in a Row

( At 5:25 p.m. EDT)

Thanks to a bank-led rally Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average did in fact record its fifth straight weekly gain. The index was up 246.27 points, or 3.1%, to 8083.38 during the session, giving it an increase for the week of 65.79 points, or 0.8%.

Of the 30 stocks, 26 rose, three fell, and one, Coca-Cola ( KO), ended flat.

Bank of America ( BAC) was the best performer on a percentage basis, up a staggering 35.3% at $9.55. American Express ( AXP) and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) rose more than 19% each. Citigroup ( C) added 12.6%.

Wal-Mart ( WMT) was the worst, off 3.7% at $50.66. All told though, a good session and a pretty good week.

Unfortunately, after the close, two Dow components had the kind of news we didn't want to see. Chevron ( CVX) said it's anticipating "sharply lower" profits in the first quarter compared with the fourth quarter of 2008, and Boeing ( BA) took down its own earnings outlook.

Following those projections, Boeing was losing 4.5% in late trading, and Chevron was falling 2.1%.

Let's try to enjoy the long weekend. There will be plenty of time to be stressed next week. It's earnings season, remember?

More and More Believers?

( At 2:58 p.m. EDT)

One hour left in the week on Wall Street, and the Dow is near its session high. Recently, it was up 229 points, or 2.9%, at 8067. Were the final bell to ring right here it would be the best close in two months.

Just three stocks are under the flat line, and the financials continue to outperform. No, that's not your imagination. Bank of America ( BAC) has a 30% gain to $9.18. It was also the most actively traded issue.

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I'm not sure why I'm fixated on dates today, though I seem to be. That said, I have to note that BofA hasn't gone out above $9 since Jan. 14. Yes, I'm aware that's still less than a quarter of the level of its 52-week high. Be impressed, though.

After BofA, American Express ( AXP) was jumping 14.7% to $18.03, and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) was up 13.1% at $31.02. Citigroup ( C) was higher by 10.4% at $2.98.

That's not all -- the Dow is on pace for its fifth consecutive weekly increase. We continue to advance, and that March 9 low really is starting to look more and more like ... . I won't say it. You know what I mean.

Fine Way to End the Week

( At 12:15 p.m. EDT)

Wells Fargo ( WFC) with the assist. Too bad it's not in the Dow. Nice 20% gain there, guys.

So it's not one of the anointed 30. No worries. Bank of America ( BAC) was up 18.7% to $8.38. JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) was gaining 11.6% at $30.60 -- it hasn't closed above $30 since Jan. 2. Citigroup ( C) was rising 8.5% to $2.93.

Overall, the index was up 166 points, or 2.1%, at 8003 three hours into the final trading session of the week. At one point, it went all the way to 8046.50.

We have a holiday weekend coming up. Who isn't in a good mood? Maybe we shouldn't even be surprised by the rally.

Despite the advance, six stocks were actually in negative territory, and one, Kraft ( KFT), was unchanged. A move of this magnitude doesn't always happen when one-fifth of the industrial components are in the red.

Helping the situation was the fact that all the declines were under 1% with the exception of Wal-Mart ( WMT), which fell 4.4% to $50.30 following its same-store sales report.

Also strong were Caterpillar ( CAT), up 7.7% to $31.86 after holdings its dividend rate steady, and General Electric ( GE), climbing 7.5% to $11.44. GE's on pace for its best finish since Feb. 11.

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