Financial exchange traded funds led the U.S. stock market lower Monday as Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) shares were again testing the closely watched $5 threshold.
Weakness in large-cap bank shares dimmed hopes for a Santa Claus rally this week after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi poured cold water on the idea of the ECB buying bonds and taking other easing measures to stem the debt crisis.
Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEArca: XLF) fell 2% while Bank of America shares were off 3.7% to a session low of $5.01.
Financial ETFs have been trailing the market for over a year on worries the Eurozone debt crisis could boil over. [Financial ETFs Could Be New Market Leader]
Indeed, financial ETFs have become popular tools for short sellers looking to profit from declines in the overall market or hedge. [Short Interest Surges in Financial ETF]
The financial ETF was down 20.6% as of Dec. 16, according to Morningstar.
Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund
Full disclosure: John Spence owns XLF.
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