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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Markets Open Strongly Higher

Whether it's seller fatigue or a reaction to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech this morning or any of a hundred other factors, the markets roared out of the gates and opened up strongly this morning.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is up 150 points, or more than 2 percent.

The broader S&P 500 is up about 2.7 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq is up about 2.8 percent.

In his speech to the Council on Foreign Relations this morning, Bernanke reiterated that the key to ending the recession is recovery in the financial sector.

Possibly fueling today's early rally is a letter this morning from Citigroup's Vikram Pandit saying his company is profitable through the first two months of 2009. Citigroup is thought by many analysts to be the sickest of the big banks, with its balance sheet packed with toxic assets.

Shares of Citigroup have been trading as low as $1 per share.

--Frank Ahrens

By Sara Goo  |  March 10, 2009; 9:47 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
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Next: Citigroup's Pandit: Bank Is Profitable So Far This Year

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