Surge carries Dow above 21,000 for first time ever

Trader Peter Tuchman wears a "Dow 21,000" hat as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Stocks opened strongly higher on Wall Street, led by big gains in banks as investors expected interest rates to rise. The early jump Wednesday put the Dow Jones industrial average above 21,000 points for the first time. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — Banks and other financial companies led U.S. stocks sharply higher, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average above 21,000 points for the first time.

Wednesday’s gain was the biggest for the blue-chip index since November.

Energy companies also rose. Bank of America rose 3.8 percent and ConocoPhillips rose 3.1 percent.

The rally came a day after President Donald Trump reaffirmed plans to cut taxes and push for other business-friendly policies.

Bond prices fell and yields rose after New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley said the case for raising interest rates had gotten stronger.

The Dow jumped 302 points, or 1.5 percent, to 21,114.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 32 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,395. The Nasdaq composite increased 78 points, or 1.4 percent, to 5,904.