The Dow industrials and the S&P 500 rose on Thursday as news the Obama administration could request more money to shore up ailing banks sent financial shares higher, offsetting declines in healthcare companies.

Banks, whose health has been a concern for investors and pulled the market to 12-year lows on Monday, were a standout.

Shares of Bank of America gained 8 percent to $5.57 and JPMorgan climbed 8.5 percent to $23.57. The KBW banks index <.BKX> rose 6.6 percent.

There is what looks like possibly a short-cover in financials, said Terry Morris, portfolio manager at National Penn Investors Trust Company in Reading, Pennsylvania, referring to the reversal of bets that a stock will fall.

Of course there has been some clarity as to how things are going to go and as far as the nationalization that financials were spooked by.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 36.56 points, or 0.50 percent, to 7,307.45. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 2.87 points, or 0.38 percent, to 767.77. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 4.10 points, or 0.29 percent, to 1,421.33.

Healthcare companies fell as U.S. President Barack Obama's first budget offered a glimpse at possible changes to the nation's Medicare and Medicaid health insurance programs and whether Obama will make good on his campaign promise to rein in private-insurer-sponsored Medicare plans.

The S&P Healthcare index <.GSPA> slid 3 percent.

(Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by James Dalgleish)