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Financial Stocks Under Pressure

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Financial stocks and ETFs generally weakened along with the overall stock markets on Monday, as investors digested overseas news and market volatility. Some financial services holdings, though, fell further than their counterparts.

The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) moved down about 4.2%, roughly the same decline as the S&P 500, which fell 4% vs. the Dow Jones’ 3.6% drop. However, the Vanguard Financials ETF (VFH) dropped 4.4% and iShares U.S. Financials ETF (IYF) weakened 4.3% late Monday.

Some analysts think bank stocks in particular are moving in response to concerns that low interest rates will continue. Momentum investors, they point out, tend to buy bank stocks in reaction to rising rates.

On Monday, Bank of America (BAC) was upgraded by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods equity analyst Christopher Mutascio. The bank’s shares are trading at near $15.30 and were down about 5% late-Monday. Mutascio’s price target is $20.

BofA has limited exposure in China and rising earnings estimates.

Other big banks, such as Morgan Stanley (MS) and Wells Fargo (WFC) moved down 5%, too, while independent broker-dealer LPL Financial (LPLA) weakend just 3.5%. Troubled RCS Capital (RCAP), which owns Cetera Financial Group, weakened about 4% and is trading around $2.15 per share.

TD Ameritrade (AMTD), Scottrade, BofA’s Merrill Edge and other trading platforms had their share of issues on Monday, with investors complaining about trading problems via Twitter. AMTD fell about 5%.

Charles Schwab (SCHW), meanwhile, was hit with a $2 million fine from FINRA tied to net capital deficiencies. It shares declied 4.5% to end at about $49.60.

Bucking the trend, Swiss-based UBS (UBS) saw its shares fall a modest 2% in heavy trading.

— Check out Schwab Hit With $2M FINRA Fine Over Net Capital Deficiencies on ThinkAdvisor.