Stock Market Today: Bank of America's Beat and Apple's China Update

Why Bank of America, Apple, and Fastenal stocks are on the move today.

Jan 15, 2014 at 9:00AM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

Expect a strong start to the stock market today, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) followed yesterday's triple-digit rally by gaining another 51 points in premarket trading this morning. Bank of America's (NYSE:BAC) just-released earnings results could help push markets higher as they were better than Wall Street expected. Meanwhile, news is breaking on a few other stocks that may see heavy trading in today's session, including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST).

Bank of America today reported strong results for the fourth quarter of 2013. Profit leapt to $3.4 billion, or $0.29 a share, compared to the $732 million, or $0.03 a share, it booked a year ago. Sales jumped by 15% to reach $21.7 billion. Profits were pinched by a massive $2.3 billion litigation expense tied to the bank's past mortgage selling practices. However, Bank of America's core businesses notched some key wins in the quarter, including a $14 billion increase in deposit balances, to a record $1.12 trillion. The stock is up 2.7% in premarket trading.

Apple's long-anticipated iPhone launch on the China Mobile network is due to finally happen this Friday. CEO Tim Cook provided more details on the deal last night, including that it will greatly expand Apple's retail reach in China by adding 3,000 new sales locations for iPhones. Still, cooperation between the two companies won't be limited to handsets, Cook said. Additionally, the CEO told The Wall Street Journal that iPhone sales already hit a new record in Apple's Greater China region in the fiscal first quarter, for which Apple is set to post results on Jan. 27. The stock is up 1.3% in premarket trading.

Finally, Fastenal this morning posted earnings results that were in line with previously lowered expectations. Sales grew by 7.5% to $814 million in the fourth quarter, but profit was flat at $0.33 a share. The industrial and construction equipment seller said sales trends turned negative near the end of the quarter, forcing it to book its lowest gross profit margin in at least three years. However, Fastenal expects profits to get back on track as the weather improves, and as the industrial economy eventually rebounds. Fastenal's stock is down 2.8% in premarket trading.

One bank built to last
Bank of America's strong results aside, many investors are terrified about investing in big banking stocks after the crash. But the sector has one notable stand-out. In a sea of mismanaged and dangerous peers, it rises above as "The Only Big Bank Built to Last." You can uncover the top pick that Warren Buffett loves in The Motley Fool's new report. It's free, so click here to access it now.


Fool contributor Demitrios Kalogeropoulos owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Bank of America. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Bank of America. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information