U.S. stocks rallied more than 2 percent on Monday as bullish comments on financial sector performance from analyst Meredith Whitney lifted hopes that banks' quarterly results may be stronger than expected.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 185.16 points, or 2.27 percent, to end unofficially at 8,331.68. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 21.92 points, or 2.49 percent, to finish unofficially at 901.05. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 37.18 points, or 2.12 percent, to close unofficially at 1,793.21.

(Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Jan Paschal)