Bank of America's (NYSE: BAC ) share price has been on a see-saw ride this morning, mostly staying in the green, adding to the rally last week that pushed the big guy's stock up over the $12 mark again.
The whole financial sector is up and down today, with Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) acting particularly sluggish despite its hefty dividend boost last week of $0.05, to $0.30 per share.
So far, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) is up by 0.12%, despite news that one of the bank's top problem solvers has left its ranks. Indeed, The Wall Street Journal is even questioning the support system of CEO Jamie Dimon since so many of his key people have departed over the past three years.
Some sweet news regarding consumer spending is likely giving the market a lift today, and both the Dow (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) are rising well above their Friday closes. This could help bank stocks, too, since higher consumer spending just might translate into more banking customers, as well -- particularly in the mortgage arena.
In fact, both B of A and Citigroup (NYSE: C ) got a thumbs up this morning from analysts at KBW, who think that both of these mortgage laggards will benefit from rising home prices. Since both of these banks have pulled back from the mortgage business in recent years, their books are weighed down with more problem mortgages than Wells and JPMorgan.
As the housing market heals, expenses tied to troubled loans should abate, leaving Citi and B of A in a more stable position. Since Bank of America's main burden has become its passel of crummy loans acquired with Countrywide, any relief in that sector will be an especially big boon to the bank.
So far, Citigroup hasn't felt the effects of this report, but I expect it will help lift the stock as the day wears on. For Bank of America -- which is still trying to decide whether to stabilize and stay put, or continue on with its rally from last week -- this new report might just be the jolt it needs to soar higher than ever.
As we wait for the latest infusion of good news to sink in, it's good to reflect upon the fact that news may move markets, but the long-term view is always the most sensible. As Foolish, long-term investors, we recognize the fact that one-day changes in share price don't make or break an investment. Even stocks have good days and bad days, so it's important to realize that sometimes they're not portents of dire news, but merely squiggles that we can safely ignore.
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