Bank of America Outran the Rest of the Market Today


Bank of America's stock tacked on nearly 1% today, easily outpacing the S&P 500 index, which just managed to stay flat for the day. But what's behind that win?

With jobless claims rolling in at 330,000, we got a bit of an economic-data shot in the arm, as that figure was both below expectations and a continuation of a downward trend. And while the week-to-week claims data can be volatile, the four-week average has also been declining. A stronger economy is good news for B of A, since it can bolster everything from loan demand to investment banking fees, so this kind of news is a positive for the bank.

Even though that may helped give a boost to B of A, when it comes to the comparison to the rest of the market, the stock was helped in a big way by tech giant Apple. A quarterly report that underwhelmed investors led to a heavy sell-off in the iPhone maker, and that had a significant role in holding back the S&P index.

Of course, while we can pick apart what may or may not have led to a one-day outperformance in Bank of America's stock, the Foolish way is based on always keeping an eye on the big picture. In this case, we can certainly note the jobless claims data as a piece of good news, but we'll need to continue keeping an eye on the rest of the economic indicators along with B of-A-specific issues, such as its continued efforts to untangle its legal exposures.

More on the big picture
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Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of Bank of America. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and owns shares of Apple and Bank of America. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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