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Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Free Report

shares surged Tuesday, rising nearly 5% to break back above $15.

The stock finished up 71 cents, or 4.9%, at $15.16, outpacing the slightly less than 3% advance of the

KBW Bank Index

. About 204 million shares changed hands, less than the issue's trailing three-month daily average of 212.8 million. The session-high for the shares was $15.31.

Among the company's big bank peers,


(C) - Get Free Report

was up 4.1% to $3.31,

JPMorgan Chase

rose 3% to $40.07, and

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Free Report

, gained 1.9% to $27.39. U.S. stocks

started the week strong

with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising triple-digits, led by gains in the basic materials sector.

Bank of America did have some news on Tuesday. Along with the other credit card issuers, it released January credit card master trust data, reporting a 13.25% charge-off rate, a decrease from a rate of 13.53% in December.

Collins Stewart, which has a buy rating and a $22 price target on the stock, said the data was in-line with its expectations, but added that a "consistent trend has yet to emerge" and it believes the company has a ways to go.

The firm also noted that total delinquencies at Bank of America declined in January on a sequential basis, and said it now estimates the company will report losses of around $6 billion in the first quarter from its managed card portfolio.

"While we continue to forecast steadily rising losses and associated reserve build into 2010, we continue to believe loss levels will remain fairly manageable, barring a dramatic increase in unemployment from current levels," Collins Stewart said.

Charlotte, N.C.-based B of A also said it was able to complete roughly 12,700 permanent mortgage modifications for its customers under the federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, in January. That's up from around 3,200 in December.

The company also noted it has pending another 13,700 permanent HAMP modifications that are awaiting homeowner signatures.


Written by Michael Baron in New York