The broad indexes all ended mixed, although the Dow Jones Industrial Average
In its March Beige Book report, the Federal Reserve said that since the previous report was published in January, most of the 12 Fed districts "reported expansion in consumer spending, although retail sales slowed in several Districts." The Fed added that "The demand for services was generally positive across Districts, most notably for technology and logistics firms."
Despite the generally positive tone of the Beige Book, which is an informal survey, the Federal Reserve said that "many District contacts commented on the expired payroll tax holiday and the Affordable Care Act as having restrained sales growth."The KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) was up over 1% to close at 55.59, with all but six of the 24 index components showing gains for the session.
Bank of America
Shares of Bank of America have returned 3% this year. The shares returned 110% in 2012, which was only a partial recovery from an epic 58% decline during 2011. Putting the three periods together, the shares are down 10% since the end of 2010. Bank of America's stock trades for 0.9 times tangible book value, and for 9.2 times the consensus 2014 earnings estimate of $1.29 a share, among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The consensus 2013 EPS estimate is $1.00. Despite relatively weak 2012 earnings of $4.188 billion, or $0.25 a share, Bank of America managed to increase its Basel I Tier 1 common equity ratio to 11.06% as of Dec. 31, from 9.86% a year earlier. The company also estimated a Basel III Tier 1 common equity ratio of 9.25% as of Dec. 31, putting it in compliance with the Federal Reserve's proposed capital rules, six years ahead of the January 2019 deadline.
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