Bank of America shares settled on a gain of more than 2% today after receiving some positive attention from their investment-banking colleague, Goldman Sachs. The brokerage firm resumed coverage on BAC at buy, attributing the bullish endorsement to enormous unrealized equity gains. Specifically, Goldman estimates that BAC has about $22.5 billion worth of after-tax unrealized gains in its strategic investment portfolio. That amounts to 10% of the group's market cap. Goldman says that the gains mean the bank has great flexibility to build reserves, charge off underperforming credits and repurchase shares.
Today's gains sent BAC through short-term resistance from its 10-day moving average. Recently, the stock's 10-week and 20-week moving averages completed a bullish cross, a technical formation that often portends future upside. Meanwhile, option traders are on the fence when it comes to the beleaguered finance giant. Its Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio rests at 1.02, near the middle of BAC's annual range, as puts narrowly outnumber calls among near-term options.