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Are Kind Words Really Behind the Bank of America Rally?

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Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) started this week a little under the weather, which didn't surprise me, since it had quite an eventful weekend. Online and mobile app outages and telephone problems plagued the big bank, in addition to news that it may owe more than it bargained for to private mortgage-backed securities investors with whom the bank settled up almost two years ago. What amazed me, in fact, was that the big bank's stock hadn't fallen more than it did.

On Tuesday, the stock really took off, taking the red ribbon for boosting the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) . Right around noon today, the big guy was showing a rise of nearly 0.5%.

Complimentary remarks all around
What's going on here? Yesterday, fellow Fool Matt Thalman noted that B of A's horn had been honked by investing wunderkind Bruce Berkowitz late last week. In comments at a conference in New York last Thursday, Berkowitz said that his Fairholme Fund, ever so profitable last year and now closed to new investors, is top-heavy with stocks such as Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD  ) , AIG (NYSE: AIG  ) , and B of A. He had nice things to say about each, particularly Bank of America -- whose Countrywide troubles he considers a "fixable problem."

Berkowitz also stated, in an interview with Bloomberg, that he expects both AIG and Bank of America to quadruple over the next five to seven years. Wow.

As if that wasn't enough to make the big bank blush, Guggenheim analyst Marty Mosby sang its praises on Monday, along with fellow financials US Bancorp (NYSE: USB  ) , Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) , and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC  ) . Mosby considers B of A and Citi recovery plays, while Wells was one of his top picks. Still, he pegs both Citi and Bank of America as picks with "more than 30% upside potential."

How long will the afterglow last?
With all these accolades, it's no wonder B of A is riding high. Certainly, a combination of these two opinions did the trick, and US Bancorp, Citi, and Wells all appeared to rally on Tuesday as well, after the Mosby article came out. For Bank of America, however, the question is: How long will it last?

Without a crystal ball at my disposal, I will say that, in the absence of any really ruinous news, I think B of A will tend to stay higher for a while. I think this because I believe that the anticipation surrounding the bank's performance on the Federal Reserve's upcoming stress tests is running so high that it will take some pretty apocalyptic news to bring down investors' high spirits. With Bank of America looking so stout and healthy these days, I can't say that I blame them.

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9/30/2016 12:53 PM
BAC $15.61 Up +0.45 +2.94%
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