Stocks rally after Bernanke says recovery may begin this year

What a difference a day makes, especially when it's a day Ben Bernanke spends talking up the U.S. economy and downplaying fears of bank nationalizations on Capitol Hill.

Stocks broke a seven-day skid after the Fed chairman spoke before a congressional committee, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.3 percent to 7,351, the S&P 500 climbed 4 percent to 773, and Nasdaq closed 3.9 percent higher at 1,442.

Banks led the way, with Citigroup (C) climbing 21.5 percent to $2.60, Bank of America (BAC) gaining 21 percent to close at $4.73 and Wells Fargo (WFC) rising 18.3 percent to $13.05.

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