The struggling Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLF) ranks as the second-best SPDR in July. XLF, the largest U.S. sector ETF, posted a second-quarter gain of 1.4% and could live up to its July billing if the financial services sector can deliver some upside earnings surprises, something it did not do much of in the first quarter. [Bank ETFs Face Hurdles]

“The diversified financials services industry had earnings declines of 43% relative to the prior year. This industry weakness also masked the 20% and 19%, growth for the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)and insurance industries.,” said S&P Capital IQ. [Q1 Earnings Growth Leaders Among ETFs]

XLF gained over 2% last month, which is not too shabby considering it is usually the worst of the nine SPDRs in June. It is the best of the nine in March and second-best in April, according to CXO.

Materials Select Sector SPDR