Stocks rose for a third day on Thursday on relief that a ratings cut by S&P in General Electric was just one notch and that no further cuts loomed, while data showed some stabilization in consumer spending.
Adding to the positive tone were comments from Bank of America
Lewis' comments echoed statements by Citigroup
It's real good news from banks, said Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer of Johnson Illington Advisors in Albany, New York. It indicates they are profitable and they are starting to increase their lending -- you couldn't ask for more than that.
They've all weighed in and given us some real hard evidence that things may not be as bad as we thought.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 158.42 points, or 2.29 percent, to 7,088.82. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 18.58 points, or 2.58 percent, to 739.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 29.36 points, or 2.14 percent, to 1,401.00.
Bank of America shares gained 15.2 percent to $5.68 and Citigroup rose 4.5 percent to $1.61. JP Morgan Chase added 8.3 percent to $22.10. The KBW Bank index <.BKX> climbed 6.8 percent.
(Editing by James Dalgleish)