Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Today's Major Market Move: Bank Of America Gains 9.9% This Week

"Buy anything that moves": that pretty much sums up the current investing environment for equities. Here in the U.S. the S&P 500 recently crossed the 1400 level, the DOW is well over 13K and the Nasdaq is over 3000. However, as much as equities are performing great here in the States, the 10.9% gain YTD by the S&P 500 only ranks 36th among global benchmark equity indexes. Here's the top 10:

Click here to go to the live chart.

The S&P has gained 1.7% so far this week and a big contributor to the current move has been the financial sector which got a boost from the stress test results released by the Federal Reserve on Tuesday. The news was decidedly positive (no surprise there) with 15 of the 19 banks receiving passing marks. One of the 15 passing institutions was Bank of America (ticker: BAC) which was not entirely expected considering that back in August of 2011 there were rumors swirling that the bank was desperate for additional capital (see our August 10, 2011 post for more details). Since a passing grade wasn't already baked into the stock price, BAC got one of the biggest boosts from Tuesday's announcement. The stock was up 9.9% for the week making it the 2nd best performer in the S&P 500. As you can see in the table below, the top 10 is chock full of financial institutions:

Click here to go to the live table.
BAC is still well off of its 2011 highs of 15.25 and had only just returned to profitability on a quarterly basis 2 quarters ago. The bank has made the news in the past couple months with announcements of new and/or different fees on different types of customer accounts which shows how the company is actively exploring new revenue sources after other sources, like mortgages and proprietary trading, have shrunk considerably. Below is the chart for estimated EPS, actual EPS, and stock price (in terms of % change) going back to 2008:

Click here to go to the live chart.

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