Why Bank of America Is Up Nicely This Week

Down slightly on the day, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) looks like it's going to finish the week slightly up: by a healthy 1.80%. After last week's weirdness, this is better news than investors probably dared hope for.

The week's ups and downs
Here's a quick overview of how the rest of the big four are shaking out this week:

  • JPMorgan Chase is up a big 2.86%.
  • Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) is up an even bigger 4.21%.
  • Wells Fargo is up slightly, at 0.22%.

Foolish bottom line
At the beginning of last week, everything seemed fine: just another ho-hum couple of days in the banking sector. But then on Wednesday -- wham! -- all of the big four took a dive, for reasons that still aren't clear.

By last Friday, the banks had begun to climb out of the hole they found themselves in, but they never fully recovered. Citi especially was hard-hit, which may explain its big recovery this week: A big drop can lead to a big bounce.

B of A actually got some bad news this week that investors seem to have brushed off. On Friday, April 5, a federal judge signed off on a $2.43 billion settlement the bank had reached with investors last fall over the purchase of Merrill Lynch, which happened years earlier. 

In a way, this is news, and in a way, it isn't. The settlement was reached last fall, and as such, this sign-off may have not generated much interest, though technically the deal's not done until the judge says so.

It's also the start of earnings season for the banks. JPMorgan and Wells Fargo reported today to kick things off. Could it be that B of A investors are actually looking forward to first-quarter earnings? Fourth-quarter earnings were pitiful, so maybe the thinking is that Q1 couldn't possibly be worse.

But always remember that day to day and week to week, the market may do strange, unexplainable things. Stay focused on the long term, and keep an eye on the fundamentals of the companies you're invested in. That's investing Foolishly.

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  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2013, at 3:55 PM, Weaselbait wrote:

    "B of A actually got some bad news this week that investors seem to have brushed off...a federal judge signed off on a $2.43 billion settlement..."

    This shows a lack of understanding of the legal process and how it affects accounting matters.

    The event was _GOOD_ news, not 'bad'.

    BAC reached a settlement which means they paid _less_ the potential cost of the suit. Second, the moment they settled, a liability that was unknown in amount became a _known_ liability.

    What would have been _bad_ news was if the Judge had declined to accept the settlement.

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