Surprise! Regulators Send Bank of America Stock Soaring

It's a sunny Monday morning for Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  )  as investors push the big bank's share price higher and higher on the news that some key regulators -- such as the Attorneys General of New York and Delaware -- have dropped their opposition to the troubled $8.5 billion settlement agreement the big guy penned with 22 institutional investors back in 2011.

After closing at a respectable $12.24 last Friday, B of A has been spreading its wings for the first hour or so of the market day, gaining 2.75% already today. Both the Dow and S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) are still quiet, but I'm betting that Bank of America's skyward trajectory will be lifting the first of those indices, as well.

How are B of A's peers doing this glorious morning? Not too shabby, as it turns out. Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC  ) is up by 0.48%, Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) by 1.13%, and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) has rebounded nicely from its drubbing of last week, proudly displaying a sweet 1.53% uptick in share price by mid-morning. Considering all of the bad news the huge bank delivered last week, this is truly a Phoenix-like moment.

But, wait. There's a speck of nasty news just out today, and it concerns Bank of America. New York's top prosecutor, Eric Schneiderman, has both B of A and Wells Fargo in his sights at the moment, preparing to sue the heck out of the two mortgage lenders for "repeatedly violating" the conditions of the National Mortgage Settlement.

But Friday's good news is, at least for the moment, wrapping Bank of America in its warm embrace, with no trace of this more recent issue on the horizon.

As the big banks enjoy one of their better days, keep in mind that it is the overall performance of a stock that really counts. 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. 

Bank of America's stock doubled in 2012 -- and today is looking like 2013 could be an instant replay of that triumph. With significant challenges still ahead, however, it's critical to have a solid understanding of this megabank before adding it to your portfolio. In The Motley Fool's premium research report on B of A, analysts Anand Chokkavelu, CFA, and Matt Koppenheffer, Financials bureau chief, lift the veil on the bank's operations, including detailing three reasons to buy and three reasons to sell. Click here now to claim your copy.


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