Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEArca: XLF) closed Friday with a 0.6% loss as top holding Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) weighed on the sector fund, while Citigroup (NYSE: C) after the closing bell said Jerry A. Grundhofer has resigned from the board of directors.
Bank of America shares slipped nearly 2% and were the most actively traded stock on the NYSE by share volume. In other large-cap banks, Citi rose fractionally Friday along with Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), but JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) fell 1.5%.
Analysts and ratings agencies around the globe are trying to get a handle on lenders’ exposure to Greek debt if the European debt crisis continues to deteriorate.
Investors are also trying to figure out if recent weakness in the economy is just a soft patch or the start of something worse. Many economists are looking for a rebound in the second half of 2011 to set things right.
The primary risks for banks include declines in real estate prices and general economic weakness, while potential upside surprises include “a faster-than-expected economic recovery, rising home prices and a more favorable political landscape,” Deutsche Bank analysts said in a note Friday.