Financial stocks and sector-related exchange traded funds jumped Thursday as rising bond yields helped strengthen the appeal of bank stocks.
Among the better performing non-leveraged ETFs of Thursday, the SPDR S&P Bank ETF (NYSEArca: KBE) increased 3.0%, iShares U.S. Regional Banks ETF (IAT) gained 3.1%, and SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (NYSEArca: KRE) rose 3.2%. Meanwhile, the broader Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLF) was 2.2% higher.
Yields on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes was up to 1.139% on Thursday, as talks of another round of fiscal stimulus progressed through Congress.
The financial sector has fallen behind the broader U.S. markets, but the segment is slowing gaining momentum. Since August, XLF has advanced 27% while KBE surged 47%. The S&P 500 was up 17% over the same period, CNBC reports.
While the XLF has seen “a very good short-term move,” its chart hasn’t yet confirmed a longer-term trend higher, according to Mark Newton, president and founder of Newton Advisors.
“Banks are still doing very well,” Newton told CNBC, pointing to “good technical price action out of [JPMorgan Chase] and Bank of America.”
“On a weekly basis, I think a lot of it depends on whether this reopening and the economic rebound can continue,” he added.
Those betting on a recovery could do well to consider buying into the financials group as the yields start to recover after the record lows.
“We are overweight financials,” Washington Crossing Advisors senior portfolio manager Chad Morganlander told CNBC. “We think that net interest margins will continue to improve as the [yield]curve continues to steepen.”
Furthermore, many are betting on the improved economic conditions that will help support loans and the further expansion of the economy.
“As the U.S. economy continues to improve post-Covid, you’ll also have some tailwinds,” Morganlander said.
“You’re going to have an improvement in credit growth on the private side as well as more additional capital spending. Secondarily, your loan loss provisions will start to go lower because of this improving economic backdrop. And thirdly, buybacks as well as dividend growth could be quite robust in the next several years,” he added. “The valuations make sense. We would continue to overweight the sector.”
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