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.

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