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How Bank of America Helped Send the Dow Higher

Dan Caplinger
April 8, 2013

First-quarter earnings reports are finally here, but before the first release of the official earnings season came this afternoon, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) managed to start things off on an optimistic note, rising 48 points even as many analysts fear that any slowdown in earnings could trigger a reversal in the stock market's impressive gains over the past four years. Broader market measures rose more substantially, with gains of more than half a percent for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite.

The biggest percentage gainer in the Dow was Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), which climbed 2%. Despite having acquired a terrible image from its needing bailout support and its attempts to raise income in the aftermath of the financial crisis, B of A has been reworking its image, and Fool contributor Amanda Alix points to "super-branches" with luxury accoutrements as well as more advanced ATM technology as evidence that the bank has learned from its past missteps.

Elsewhere in the financial sector, AIG </