Over the past month, all 10 sectors on the S&P have ridden the wave of a rising market higher. But with a 6.7% gain, the financial sector has been one of the best performers as group.
Breaking this statistic down further, within the financial sector, banking stocks are particularly hot with Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) as a clear winner among banks.
While behemoths Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) have each risen about 7% in the past month, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) has more than doubled that performance, increasing nearly 16% over the same period.
Strong second-quarter results underlie Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC)’s gain. The bank is once again firing on all cylinders. On July 17, it reported “improvements in net interest income, investment and brokerage income, investment banking fees, sales and trading revenue, equity investment income … as well as expense reductions,” pushing quarterly revenue up 3% to $22.9 billion from $22.2 billion in the year ago quarter. Earnings skyrocketed, increasing 68% to $0.32 per share from $0.19 per share in the year-earlier period.
With management working to stabilize revenue streams, strengthen the balance sheet and contain costs, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) — which is expected by some analysts to grow earnings 18% annually for the next 10 years — should continue to see strong growth ahead.
From a technical perspective, the chart appears bullish.
Over the past two and a half years, shares have had a 360 degree turnaround.
At the beginning of 2011, the stock peaked at $14.95 then quickly fell, dropping 67% by year’s end to a low of $4.89. It has since recovered all the ground previously lost. The stock closed Aug. 1, 2013 at exactly $14.95!
In early 2012, shares bounced strongly off the $4.89 bottom. The stock hit a March 2012 peak of $10.05, but encountered historical resistance and sank again.
By May 2012, shares had fallen to $6.68. Shares again fell to about this level in July 2012, forming a W-shaped base.
The formation was predictive of higher prices, and the stock steadily climbed off the $6.87 secondary low and broke the major downtrend line.
Since the fall of 2012, shares have been climbing a major uptrend line higher. In late 2012, shares successfully pierced $10.90 resistance.
For much of early 2013, the shares hovered just above $10.90, which acted as important support. Since June, the stock has again moved sharply higher.
During the last trading week in July, shares hit a multi-year high of $15.03. Shares are currently trading just below this high, at $14.95, and if the stock can once again penetrate and hold $14.95 resistance, it could soar.
The next logical target would be round number resistance at $20. This target represents over 33% returns.
The moving averages support the bullish outlook. The rising 50-day moving average (blue) appears on the verge of bullishly crossing above the flat 150-day moving average (red). Should this crossover occur, it would create a bullish technical signal similar to the “golden cross” (when the 50-day crosses above the 200-day).
The upbeat technical outlook is supported by strong fundamentals.