Bank of America pared a 28 percent tumble after a person familiar with the matter said it is asking for U.S. guarantees to help smooth the acquisition of Merrill Lynch & CO. Citigroup recovered almost half of a 26 percent slide as concern eased that the company will be nationalized. Home Depot Inc., Alcoa Inc. and DuPont Co. climbed more than 3.2 percent to lead gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.1 percent to 843.74. The Dow climbed 12.35, or 0.2 percent, to 8,212.49. The Russell 2000 Index added 2.1 percent.
Stocks fluctuated after midday in New York, with the S&P 500 erasing a 3 percent drop after falling within 2 points of last month’s intraday low of 815.69. The index twice rallied 0.9 percent before dropping 1 percent when a US Airways Group Inc. plane crashed in New York’s Hudson River.