Bank stocks and the broader markets rallied Thursday on a better-than-expected increase in U.S. gross domestic product for the third quarter.

The KBW Bank Index rose 4.1%; the Dow Jones industrial average, 2.05%, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index, 2.25%.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that GDP rose 3.5% in the third quarter, more than the 3.3% growth rate that analysts on average were expecting.

Economists at Wells Fargo Securities wrote in a note Thursday that the GDP report demonstrates that the recession has ended but questioned whether the increase in GDP is sustainable, given that the third-quarter rise was led by federal government stimulus spending and businesses' inventory restocking.

Gainers went across the board.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. rose 3.9%; Bank of America Corp., 4.8%; Wells Fargo & Co., 4%; PNC Financial Services Group Inc., 5.4%; U.S. Bancorp, 2.9%, and Citigroup Inc., 23 cents a share, to $4.31.

Among the regional banking companies, SunTrust Banks Inc. was up 4%, BB&T Corp., 2.8%; Capital One Financial Corp., 4.3%; KeyCorp, 2.9%; Regions Financial Corp., 7.5%; Fifth Third Bancorp, 4.9%; Marshall & Ilsley Corp., 10.5%; Comerica Inc., 2%; Zions Bancorp., 3.5%; First Horizon National Corp., 1.3%, and Huntington Bancshares Inc., 26 cents, to $4.07 a share.

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