The dollar gained against the better yielding euro, pound and aussie in overnight trading and the greenback looked set to gain in N.Y. as Wall Street opened. But stocks moved higher at the open even after S&P futures indicated a 3% decline, and the dollar has been in a holding pattern as stocks moved between small gains and losses.

Bank shares led the way up, with the XLF financial sector ETF moving higher by 2.75%. Bank of America gained more than 17% after CEO Ken Lewis said the company, which has seen its shares drop 90% in the last three months, shouldn't need to raise more equity. Wells Fargo and US Bancorp jumped, rallying more than 14% each. Citigroup was the laggard, gaining just 1.9% so far.

The greenback was advancing across the board on the day, with gains of 0.18% on the euro, 1.20% on Australia's dollar, 0.73% on the yen and 1.96% on sterling.

In recent trade, the DOW was moving lower by 0.61%. The broader S&P was lower by 0.28% and the NASDAQ by 0.91%.

March crude was up 2.51% on the day and April gold was unchanged.