Bank of America Stock Lags an Exhausted Market

Investors followed two days of panic-selling with a tepid trading session today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is up 0.51% late in trading, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) 0.45%. There wasn't any significant economic news guiding the market, and shares bounced between gains and losses for most of the day.

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) was one of the stocks that couldn't get off the mat today, dropping 1%. Four years after the robo-signing scandal rocked the company, the same investigator who helped uncover the scandal, Lisa Epstein, is looking into discrepancies in payments to mortgage bondholders. Homes that banks like B of A said were in foreclosure had actually been sold, and the banks were charging fees to bondholders instead of paying them back.  

Maybe giant banks aren't just too big to fail; they're too big to do the job they're supposed to be doing. The foreclosure mess showed that the bank couldn't properly serve customers, and now there are reports that it can't properly serve mortgage creditors, either. There will be more details about Epstein's report emerging in the coming weeks, and right now it doesn't look good for Bank of America stock.

With significant challenges still ahead, 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 financials bureau chief Matt Koppenheffer lift the veil on the bank's operations, detailing three reasons to buy and three reasons to sell. Click here now to claim your copy.

In more positive news, McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) is up 0.7% after announcing a $1 billion update to its stores. The makeover will impact 1,600 stores this year and is an effort to stay fresh in a highly competitive fast-food environment. McDonald's recently said the new and improved look could boost sales by 6% to 7% immediately after it's completed, so the financial drive is there. This is another reason McDonald's is a solid stock to own: It's willing to adapt to consumer tastes in the fast-food space.


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