The Dow closes up 216 points to 7978 (it had been above 8000 for much of the session). Bank stocks were up strongly after the Financial Accounting Standards Board voted to allow companies more leeway in valuing mortgage-backed securities. Basically, this means that the books of major banks will appear to be in better shape - and presumably allow more lending. From the NYT:
"There may be specks of light in this great sea of darkness we've experienced over the past few months," said Ryan Larson, head equity trader at Voyageur Asset Management. "The market doesn't need to see hard signs that we've recovered. All we need to see are signs that we're beginning to stabilize."