A FAZ/FAS Debate

October 24th at 1:19pm by Todd Shriber

Despite lingering controversy for some of its largest constituents, the financial services sector, the second-largest sector weight in the S&P 500 behind technology, has enjoyed plenty of success this year.

The Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLF), the largest sector ETF of any kind, has surged 28% year-to-date. XLF is also this year’s top ETF in terms of asset gathering proficiency, indicating investors are feeling somewhat cheery about big bank stocks, but that does not mean XLF will move up in a straight line. [Pullback Looms for Big Bank ETF]

Potential near-term weakness for the financial services sector has at least on technical analyst eying a pullback in the Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X Shares (NYSEArca: FAS). FAS seeks to deliver three time the daily performance of the Russell 1000 Financial Services Index, which is not XLF’s underlying index.

“After breaking out last week above the highs of the base and downtrend line, FAS is pulling back on lighter volume (so far) and should find support around $76. This is where the downtrend line and rising 10-day MA are converging,” said Deron Wagner of Morpheus Trading Group.

FAS, which is  up 94% this year, still resides comfortably above critical moving averages. The fund is 11% above its 50-day line and nearly 25% above its 200-day moving average. Still, a break below support at $75 could send the ETF to $70. [Spotlight on Leveraged Bank ETFs]

Legitimate price retrenchment in unleveraged bank ETFs and, of course FAS, could mean the Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (NYSEArca: FAZ) is worth evaluating as a short-term trade. FAZ attempts to deliver three times the daily inverse performance of the Russell 1000 Financial Services Index.

Stocks residing in that index include Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Citigroup (NYSE: C), J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS).

Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X Shares