Stocks today rose sharply across the board, pushed higher by a surge in financial issues after Wells Fargo said it expects to report better-than-expected profits for the first quarter.
The rally drove the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average above 8,000 for the first time since April 3.
The Dow rose 246.27 points, or 3.14%, to 8,083.38. The S&P 500 index climbed 31.40 points, or 3.81%, to 856.56 and the Nasdaq composite index gained 61.88 points, or 3.89%, to 1,652.54. All numbers are preliminary.
Wells Fargo, the nations second largest home lender, rallied 27% after indicating it expects to report first-quarter net income of $3 billion, or 55 cents a share. The bullish report from the bank helped push other major financial stocks higher and boosted investor sentiment overall. Citigroup Inc. gained 10.4%, JPMorgan Chase gained 15% and Bank of America rose 33%.
Clearly, Wells Fargo had a riveting effect on the market, which caused a sense of optimism, and financials led the rally, said Matthew D. McCormick, a portfolio manager at Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel. The market wrestles with hope and fear every day, and today was a hope day.
Bullish sentiment from the financial group helped overshadow generally weak monthly sales numbers from the nations retailers.