The Dow Jones industrial average (DJI) closed Monday at an impressive two year high on the first trading day of the new year, ringing in 2011 at 11,670.8, for a 93 point spike during the day and the highest level it’s seen since August of 2008.

The industrial sector wasn’t the only one on the rise, as the blue-chip leader Bank of America (BAC) soared a startling 6% following the announcement of a $2.8 billion mortgage settlement in the ongoing case with financial giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

The S&P 500 showed a valiant effort with a 14 point rise, or 1.1%, and the Nasdaq took off running with a 39 point gain over Friday’s close, or 1.5%.

This bullish turn for the new year has given investors an optimistic outlook on the first quarter, even though the market is still only traversing the foothills of the road to full economic recovery.

Jack Ablin, of Harris Private Bank, said this about the year’s opening figures: “…January has usually been a strong month for stock performance, although the last two Januarys have been terrible….This is one January where I’m hopeful we’re back to our historical pattern again.”