US stocks took off Tuesday and the Dow zoomed past the 13,000 mark driven by soaring bank shares, sparked by JPMorgan Chase's announcement of a huge share buyback and dividend hike.
After a sharp surge higher in the final hour the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 217.97 points (1.68 percent) to 13,177.68.
The broad-based S&P 500 gained 24.87 (1.81 percent) to 1,395.96, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 56.22 points (1.88 percent) to 3,039.88.
Shares edged up in early trade helped by a strong showing in February in retail sales data that showed growth picking up to 1.1 percent month-on-month.
The Federal Reserve kept its low interest rate policy in place but acknowledged some improvement in the economy, further helping sentiment.
A final surge came after JPMorgan announced it had cleared Fed stress tests and would boost its dividend by 20 percent and embark on a $15 billion share buyback program.
JPMorgan shares added 7.3 percent, dragging the other major banks with it ahead of the Fed's release of all the stress test results.
Bank of America gained 6.3 percent, Citigroup 6.3 percent, Wells Fargo 5.8 percent, and Goldman Sachs 6.5 percent.
In other blue-chip action, Alcoa surged 4.5 percent, General Electric added 2.6 percent, Caterpillar 3.9 percent, Apple 2.9 percent and eBay 3.0 percent.
Bond prices dropped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury surged to 2.11 percent from 2.03 percent Monday, while the 30-year increased to 3.25 percent from 3.17 percent.
Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.