Bank of America Research Tools

Updated Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Research Tools Grade: C


Bank of America features an average selection of research tools. Market commentary and individual stock research is solid, though limited compared to top research offerings found at other brokers. The two event calendars are among the best out there while the stock screener is one of the worst. Research offerings need to be expanded and improved upon for BOA to compete with the research offerings of Fidelity and TD Ameritrade.


The main Bank of America markets page (click on images for larger views):

The Reports tab in this area features market commentary by Standard & Poor's and Dorsey Wright & Associates. Individual stock research is provided by Standard & Poor's, Argus Research and First Call Earnings Valuation Reports provided by Thompson Financial.

The event calendar shows past, current and future events such as earnings announcements, dividend dates, splits and IPOs. Dates have color coded dots that show what type of events occur on certain days. Here is a shot of the rating changes that took place on November 28th:

Economic indicators can be viewed in a separate economic releases calendar. This second calendar can be filtered for different types of economic reports, including employment, consumer, housing, industry, trade and money & credit. Combined, these two calendars are better designed and offer more information than all calendars offered by other online brokers. Well done BOA.

The stock screener is another story. It has a poor layout and features screening criteria that is generally limited in flexibility. For example, users can select to screen by market cap but they are limited to selecting micro caps, small caps, mid caps, large caps and mega caps. I don't think it is too much to ask to be able to enter a specific market cap range, e.g. a range of $750 million to $8 billion. Here is a partial view of screening criteria that I selected:

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