It was a good day for the Dow (INDEX: ^DJI) , which rose 0.78% to 12,578.95. But it was a great day for two of its component stocks.
Why did these two banks blast off?
Most of the good feelings can be attributed to Goldman Sachs' (NYS: GS) earnings report today. Though the fourth-quarter earnings for the premier pure-play Wall Street bank were less than half 2010's, they smashed analysts' lowered guidance.
Goldman was up 6.8%, boosting not only Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase but also fellow Wall Streeters Morgan Stanley (NYS: MS) (up 6.8% as well) and Citigroup (up 2.9%).
In addition to the Goldman news, the International Monetary Fund announced that it's looking to increase its dry powder by half a trillion dollars to help countries with sovereign-debt problems (read: Europe). Good news for Europe means good news for these large American banks -- both because of their direct investments and because of the possible indirect effects from the interdependency of credit markets.
Meanwhile, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley are set to complete the big-bank earnings season by reporting at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow. As with every earnings report, a lot will depend on expectations (rather than the absolute results). Goldman's huge bump today is testament to that.
As we await the B of A and Morgan Stanley reports, be sure to check out a much less complex bank that has some of the best operational numbers I've ever seen. It's featured in our brand new free report: "The Stocks Only the Smartest Investors Are Buying." I invite you to take a free copy to find out the name of the small bank I believe Warren Buffett would be interested in if he could still invest in small banks.
At the time thisarticle was published Anand Chokkaveluowns shares Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup. He also owns warrants in JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, as well as long-dated options in Bank of America. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.
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