In addition, lots of talk about the Reuters story saying the Fed is actively considering a plan to keep all the bonds they bought, simply allowing the trillions of dollars of securities they have bought to mature. This would put less downward pressure on bond prices and would only add about a year to the process of return the Fed's balance sheet to its normal size of $1 trillion, from the roughly $3 trillion it has now.
Bottom line: Economic reports, with a few exceptions, have been improving: consumer confidence, Chicago PMI, and ISM manufacturing. Initial jobless claims have also been trending lower.
1) Another day, another move up. Asia up across the board. (Japan's fourth-quarter gross domestic product data were revised upwards, showing growth of 0.2 percent, yen drops, Nikkei up 2.6 percent to its highest close since September 2008). Europe strong (Italy and Spain both up more than one percent)
2) Stress tests: Seventeen of the 18 biggest banks passed, including Bank of America and Citigroup, the two biggest banks in the country ... only Ally Financial did not.
Dividends/buybacks coming: Citigroup has already filed a request to repurchase $1.2 billion in stock for the year; surprisingly, it did say it would seek a dividend increase, which will remain at $0.04 a year.
Why? It might be thinking that even increasing the dividend significantly to, say, $0.25 a year would not make much difference with a stock at $45 (it would still be only an 0.6 percent yield).
More likely to raise dividend: JPMorgan Chase ($1.20/year, 2.4 percent yield), will likely go up. as will Wells Fargo ($1.00), but some talk that Capital One Financial may initiate a significant raise, from $0.20 a year to perhaps $1.00 or more. But remember: These numbers are still small when considering prior payouts. Capital One, for example, payed $1.50 a share going back to 2008.
3) Texas Instruments raised the low end of prior guidance: Its mid-quarter update, out last night, was surprisingly positive, noting bookings rebounding and backlogs building.
4) Strong week for global indices:
S&P 500 1.72%
Japan 5.84% (Four-year high)
Germany 3.71% (Five-year high)
—By CNBC's Bob Pisani