Updated from 11:12 a.m. EDT
Back Above 8500( At 4:55 p.m. EDT) If you were looking for the bears to pick up this week where they left off the last one, you were badly disappointed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 235.44 points, or 2.9%, to 8504.08 Monday as all but one of its components climbed. That's just the fourth time in 2009 that a week has started with an up session for the Dow. AT&T ( T) was the one laggard, down 1.2% at $24.59.
BofA Leads the Banks( At 10:50 a.m. EDT) Nice start to the week for the Dow. A little over an hour in to the session, the index was near its high for the day, up 153 points, or 1.9%, at 8421. Only four of the 30 stocks in the DJIA were weaker, all of them by less than 1%. McDonald's ( MCD) and Merck ( MRK) were the worst performers, and they were down just 0.8%. Banks were among the strongest percentage gainers, led by a 10.5% advance in Bank of America ( BAC) to $11.79. BofA was increasing thanks to a Goldman Sachs upgrade, which more than offset negative comments from Fitch Ratings.
Citigroup ( C) was up 5.5% at $3.67, and American Express ( AXP) was adding 4.4% to $25.29. Meanwhile, GM ( GM) was still managing to find occasional believers, and it was up 9.2% to $1.19. That's 10 cents, but still. Another notable winner was Home Depot ( HD), rising 4.7% to $25.55 a day ahead of its quarterly results. An upbeat set of numbers from rival Lowe's ( LOW) was helping the situation there. On average, analysts are looking for Home Depot to earn 29 cents a share on revenue of $15.86 billion. For now, the Dow is in an awfully good position to begin a week with a higher close for only the fourth time this year.