It's taking some time, but Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) is starting to see its stock price rally after it reported earnings before the open. Shares are up about 1.6% to $29.48 in midday Wednesday trading, as investors look for a potential breakout in the name.
Bank of America reported earnings of 74 cents per share, three cents per share ahead of expectations. Revenue of $23.1 billion came in a hair below estimates and grew 2.3% year over year.
The stock joins other bank stocks on better-than-expected second-quarter earnings results. As such, Citigroup (C - Get Report) and JPMorgan (JPM - Get Report) are both trying to breakout, while Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) is trying to push higher, too.
Also like its peers, BofA recently upped its dividend and buyback plans. The bank is increasing its dividend by 20% to 72 cents per share annually, giving the stock a yield of roughly 2.5%. It was also approved to buy back up to $30.9 billion worth of stock in the next four quarters. Currently, that's about 11% of Bank of America's market cap.
At the end of the day, though, shares are still struggling to break out, as there just isn't much love for the bank stocks. Can this earnings report, BofA's below-market valuation and new capital return plans give it a much-needed boost?
Let's look at the charts.
Trading Bank of America Stock
As you can see on the chart above, Bank of America stock continues to consolidate just under $29.50. This level has proven to be key over the past 12 months, acting as both support and resistance in that time. On the downside, $29 has been acting as short-term support, while shares are also bouncing off the 20-day moving average.
Essentially, BAC stock is setting up in a very tight 50-cent range between $29 and $29.50, while the 20-day guides the stock higher. That bodes well for a potential breakout.
We saw Bank of America stock push through resistance on the first day of July. However, the stock gave up most of those intraday gains and closed near resistance. Since then, we've seen this range hold steady all month as investors wait for a larger move.
That's the beauty of range trades, though: Either support or resistance will give way and traders will know which direction to bet on again. If the stock can close above $29.50 and turn this level into support, we can look for higher prices. On a breakout, $30 would be the first upside target, while the April highs at $31 would be the next target.
If $29 and the 20-day moving average gives way as support, a drop to the 50-day at $28.40 could be in store. There, BAC stock will also find its 38.2% retracement at $28.38. Short-term uptrend support (blue line) should also come into play around this area.
Below there would be concerning for investors, but Bank of America stock has the 200-day moving average at $27.91 and the 50% retracement at $27.29.