Whether today's big move turns out to be an illusion will not be known for some time but as far as today was concerned, it was 2006 all over again.
I don't know if Vikram Pandit saved the market, but he was its best friend today, said Matthew Carniol, Chief Currency Strategist at TheLFB-forex.com. Maybe Nouriel Roubini helped to put a bottom in yesterday when he said that 500 on the S&P was unlikely.
Considering how far the market has fallen, some of today's rally was attributed to short-covering. But the market did finish the last 30 minutes of trading with the second-highest volume of the day to close just off session highs.
Gains were paced by shares of Citigroup, which jumped 37% after CEO Vikram Pandit said in a memo published by Bloomberg that the troubled financial giant was profitable during the first two months of the year. J.P. Morgan Chase gained more than 20% and Bank of America rose 26%.
The day wasn't free of bad news however; United Technologies, the maker of Otis elevators and Carrier air conditioners, said today it plans to cut 11,600 jobs as the global recession and credit crunch lead to lower sales and profit than previously projected.
Still, more than 90% of stocks on the NYSE advanced, with twenty-nine of the 30 Dow components making gains on the day.
At Tuesday's close of floor trading on the NYSE, the DOW was on 6926.25 with a gain of 379.20 points (5.79%) while the S&P finished on 719.60, up 43.07 points (6.37%). The technology-heavy NASDAQ closed on 1358.28 after gaining 89.64 points (7.07%).
The dollar had some very strange moves, falling as S&P futures rose heading into Wall Street but falling thereafter even as stocks advanced. The greenback ended up finishing the session mixed, with a gain of 0.19% on the pound but with a loss of 0.12% against the yen, 1.93% against Australia's currency and 0.48% to the euro.
Treasuries declined again on Tuesday as stocks advanced, with yield on the 2-year note gaining 6.0 basis points to 1.019% while yield on the 10-year note rose 13.8 basis points to 2.997%.
Crude for March delivery was recently trading down $1.30 (-2.74%) to $45.78 per barrel.
Gold for April delivery was recently trading down $25.60 (-2.79%) to $892.10 per ounce.