Bank of America Shares Rise 3% and Ford Motor Closes Up 2% Giving Markets Firm Support

The U.S. financial markets made up on lost ground to finish the day pretty flat. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) closed down 13 points, or .10%, to 12,449. The S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) closed up .40 points, or .03%, to 1,292, and the Nasdaq (NASDAQ:QQQ) closed up 8 points, or .31%, to 2,710. Here are the companies that were buzzing the chatter among traders and investors in market action today:

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC): BNP Paribas (BNPQY.PK) becomes the latest bank to withdraw from lawsuits challenging the 2009 restructuring of MBIA (NYSE:MBI). BofA and UBS (NYSE:UBS) are among the four remaining banks still moving ahead with legal claims against the bond insurer.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F): More chatter from the Detroit auto show: Execs with GM and Ford both say anecdotally that sales are brisk in January through the first 10 days of the year. Though it’s unclear if it’s the mild winter weather or improved consumer sentiment pushing buyers to showrooms so far this year, another overlooked factor to watch in 2012 is that the average age of cars in the U.S. is close to 11 years.

Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL): Hecla Mining plummets after cutting its 2012 silver production outlook to 7M ounces from 9.5M as the Mine Safety and Health Administration orders the closure of a shaft at its Lucky Friday silver mine, where activity has been halted since November. (PR)

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C): New York’s financial regulator is reportedly investigating several large banks, including BofA (NYSE:BAC) and Citigroup, over whether they overcharged customers on force-place insurance. JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) are also said to be part of the probe.

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