ETF Trends
ETF Trends

The long-awaited results for the stress tests are in, but the impact on exchange traded funds (ETFs) is still a question mark. The government has announced the results of the stress tests placed on the nation’s banks. Federal regulators have announced that the country’s 19 largest banks must raise $75 billion in extra capital by November, reports Edmund L. Andrews for The New York Times.

The announcement is not as dire as had been feared just two months ago. Ten of the 19 bank holding companies deemed “too big to fail” will be required to raise more capital. But the other 10 banks will have to raise much less than analysts were predicting.

  • Citigroup (C) has to raise $5.5 billion in new capital, on top of converting $45 billion in rescue funds into ordinary stock, giving the United States a 36% ownership of Citi.
  • Bank of America (BAC) must raise $34 billion; the bank is expected to fill the hold by selling off smaller divisions.

Most of the stress test results have been slowly leaked out over the last several days, so the actual numbers haven’t jolted investors much in any direction. In fact, some industry executives appear vindicated. But the results may not silence the debate between skeptics and those who are cheering the industry on.

In fact, the stress tests could be just the beginning.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is calling for better oversight of banks and said the stress tests should pave the way for big reforms. He said regulators should examine the entire system to detect risks that could endanger the credit markets and commerce, reports Jeannine Aversa for the Associated Press.

Where to go next? Now that all has been revealed, it should be interesting to see what happens with financial ETFs over the next days, weeks and months. The sector is surely beaten-down, but watch the trend lines.

  • Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF): down 3.2% year-to-date; BAC is 4%

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.