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Bank of America Corp (BAC) & The Big Four Making Bank Today

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC)Shortly after the bell, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) is on track to regain the 1% it lost yesterday. Though it does appear that the bank may be moving along with the market, there is one big headline that might be swaying the bank’s investors toward the positive end of the spectrum.

A little perspective
B of A isn’t the only bank that’s trending higher this morning. The KBW Bank Index is trading at a 1.1% gain, while the other Big Four banks are all up in trading:

  • Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) is up 0.89%.
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is enjoying a 1.44% gain.
  • Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) is leading the pack with a 1.49% gain.

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) does often trade at higher volumes than the other bank, and with a beta of 1.78, that trading can lead to exaggerated moves compared to the broader markets. But today is a little different.

Care to swap?
Yesterday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission voted on updated rules for the trading of credit-default, interest rate, and commodity swaps — a $633 trillion global market. The new rules establish a swap trading platform that is closer to an exchange, allowing for more transparency in pricing. This is a big win for the banks, who have been lobbying the commission hard for changes to Dodd-Frank that would have implemented stricter rules. In the U.S., B of A, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), and Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) are three of the top five banks in the swap market, which control 95% of the trades.

Other news
Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) may also be enjoying another boost in investor confidence this morning after Fitch reiterated the bank’s varios ratings for credit worthiness and other measures. The agency upgraded B of A’s credit worthiness ranking to “A-” from “BBB+.” The continued resolution of the bank’s legal matters has solidified its recovery and helped improve its Fitch ratings. The company’s Tier 1 common capital ratio under the Basel III requirements was also higher than the agency expected, adding to its momentum.

Just another day
It’s great that the headlines are helping to instill some more investor confidence in the bank, pushing the stock higher. But remember, it’s just another day of trading, and Monday could bring news that pulls the stock down once more. The news of the swap rule changes is a big one for the controlling banks, but since they already have such a large market share, there may be little chance that the rules do anything other than allow them to maintain current rates of trading. As a Foolish investor, keep your eye on the ball (aka, the bank’s fundamentals) and decide which headlines really affect your investment.

The article Bank of America and Friends Win Big originally appeared on

Fool contributor Jessica Alling has no position in any stocks mentioned — you can contact her here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM).

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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