Wells Fargo & Co. finished 2018 by posting a net income of nearly $6.1 billion, or $1.21 in diluted earnings per share.

FAS is responding to the upside as it creeps upward to its 200-day moving average after a volatile end to 2018:

Can this Leveraged Financial ETF Bank on More Gains in 2019

Financial ETFs Banking on More Gains

The Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLF) gained 2.45 percent, the SPDR S&P Bank ETF (NYSEArca: KBE) rose 2.34 percent and the Vanguard Financials ETF (NYSEArca: VFH) also rose 2.45 percent. The strength in the financial sector obviously affected the Direxion Daily Financial Bear 3X ETF (NYSEArca: FAZ), which fell 5.20 percent.

With the capital markets possibly expecting a pause in interest rates, could this affect banks’ lending businesses to the point where they suffer? Some analysts question whether the sector strength can continue through the rest of 2019.

“I’ll say this about financials: It’s easy to attack them – they’ve underperformed the S&P 500 from last February to the lows by about 11.5 percent. But during this period where yields have been plummeting … the banks outperformed the S&P from mid-December to now,” notes Tim Seymour of Seymour Asset Management and CNBC’s “Fast Money.” But with a full slate of earnings reports approaching quickly, the question remains: Can that strong performance continue? Seymour says that if you look at the areas where the banks outperformed, “that tells you something about where they could outperform now.”

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