We've all heard about having a case of the Mondays, but it looks like the Dow Jones (INDEX: ^DJI) is taking the day off and watching some March Madness. Shortly before 2 p.m., the index sits down just 0.5, essentially a rounding error to being flat. The Dow had opened higher after Europe's FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) ended the day up 0.42% on the end of banking gains.
That's not to say today isn't an active market day. Volume is heavy for a number of Dow stocks. Like its banking brethren in Europe, Bank of America (NYS: BAC) is taking off. The company has already handily passed its average trading volume for the day and is up 3.9% despite little news on the day. The cause of Bank of America's gain today is likely linked to the afterglow of the company's passing the latest round of stress tests. In total, Bank of America is up 19.5% this week and has notched a 75% gain this year.
In spite of the market's malaise today, the overriding story is that in the week stocks continued their upward gain. The S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) is up about 2.4% on the week, led by -- you guessed it! -- the banking sector. The S&P Bank ETF (NYS: KBE) was up 7.8% this week. In the fourth quarter, banking stocks posted only 3.6% year-over-year growth in earnings, a far cry from technology's earnings growth of 17.1% or energy's 13.4% leap. However, many top banking stocks were punished last year, so signs of an improving economy and stress test results that were better than expected have brought investors back into the space.
Keep your perspective
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At the time thisarticle was published Eric Bleeker owns shares of no company listed above. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not 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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