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

Surprise Wells Fargo Good News Boosts Markets At Opening

Wells Fargo's eye-popping first-quarter projections this morning lit a match under Wall Street this morning, pushing the major indices up at opening.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is up 145 points, or nearly 2 percent.

The broader S&P 500 is up 2.3 percent and the tech-heavy Nadaq is up 2.2 percent.

Wells Fargo doesn't report its first-quarter earnings until April 22 but gave detailed guidance before the markets opened today and surprised everyone by saying it estimates a record $3 billion profit for the first three months of the year.

"It's premature to conclude the economy has turned," said Howard Atkins, Wells Fargo's chief financial officer, according to the Associated Press. "All I can tell you is we're seeing a lot of business."

Wells Fargo, which has received $25 billion in government bailout money, said it had received $190 billion in mortgage applications during the first quarter, as homeowners raced to refinance at low interest rates and opportunistic buyers snatched up distressed properties.

Wells Fargo earnings also got a boost from it Wachovia division, which it acquired last year. Some 40 percent of first-quarter revenue came from Wachovia, Wells Fargo reported today.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  April 9, 2009; 9:48 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, Wells Fargo, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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