“To put a stop to the threat… we must strengthen firewalls. We must have credible stronger instruments,” Barroso said.

“There’s been such a lack of confidence in policy makers over the last two to three months that the hurdle is pretty low—you get some progress in the right direction and the markets are going to respond favorably,” Jeff Layman, chief investment officer at BKD Wealth Advisors, said, reports Jonathan Cheng for WSJ.com. [Regulatory, Credit Fears Hit Financial Stocks]

Other financial ETFs moving higher Wednesday included SPDR KBW Bank (NYSEArca: KBE) and Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3X Shares (NYSEArca: FAS), a 300% leveraged ETF. Meanwhile, Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X Shares (NYSEArca: FAZ) shed about 7%. [Aggressive Call Buying in Financial ETFs; Bond Fund Outflows]

Financial Select Sector SPDR

For more information on the financial sector, visit our financial category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.