Exchange traded funds (ETFs) that invest in U.S. financial stocks have trailed the market since the mid-March bounce as the key sector hasn’t participated in the rally.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEArca: XLF) has been languishing below $17 a share and isn’t getting a boost with Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and J.P. Morgan (NYSE: JPM) kicking off the earnings season this week for banks.
Worries Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) may face government charges after a scathing Senate panel report this week is an example of the headline risk surrounding bank stocks after the financial crisis.
Meanwhile, economists at these very same big banks are cutting back their growth forecasts for the U.S. economy.
“This week started off slowly in terms of economic data, but what data we did get was mixed at best,” wrote analysts at Think 20/20 in a report Friday. “A more sober perspective, however, would say that the most recent figures, when coupled with those over the past few months, imply that the country’s rate of economic growth has slowed in recent months.”
Additionally, “as the full impact of higher gas and food prices is felt, growth could be restrained in the near term,” they noted.
On Friday, the Labor Department said the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.5% in March.