Financial exchange traded funds led the market higher Wednesday on speculation European Union leaders will be able to quell the unrest in debt markets.
Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLF) rallied nearly 3%. The sector ETF also climbed above its 50-day simple moving average on Wednesday. [Stock ETFs Try to Break Free of Trading Range]
Bank stocks were rallying one day before JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) kicks off the earnings season. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Citigroup (NYSE: C), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) and JP Morgan were all up about 3% or more Wednesday. JP Morgan is scheduled to report quarterly earnings on Thursday.
Around the country, Occupy Wall Street protests are gathering steam along with the backlash against Wall Street after the 2008 financial meltdown. The protesters are railing against Wall Street greed and are calling for higher taxes for the rich.
Still, big bank stocks are rallying into the quarterly reporting season. Investors will be looking for updates on the credit markets and how banks are faring in the low interest rate environment.
The financial sector is also catching a bid on easing concerns over Europe’s debt crisis.
Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, issued a warning on Wednesday to take greater action in containing the Eurozone debt problem, report John O’Donnell and Jan Strupczewski for Reuters.