After a few days last week, when the people who screamed “sucker’s rally!” felt safe coming into the water, the bull is back with a vengeance.

The S&P 500 rallied over 3% as strong earnings from Lowe’s (LOW) and more noises about banks repaying the TARP fuelled traders’ optimistic fantasies. Well, maybe that’s what did it. Maybe Americans are just catching some of the enthusiasm over the big India election.

Financial did particularly well: not just banks, but insurers, such as Prudential (PRU), which was up over 9% on news that they’re not taking TARP (though that was out last week). Hartford (HIG) was up 12%.

The Dow broke back over 8,500, gaining 235.

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