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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.