BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- If 2012 has been a good year for stocks so far, it's been a stellar year for the financial sector.
While the S&P 500 has rallied nearly 15% since the start of the year, financial stocks have managed to do one better, spurring a massive 23% climb in the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF (XLF) over that same period. The S&P's returns are certainly nothing to besmirch this year -- it puts 2012 in the top quartile of return years going back to the index's creation -- but the rally in financial stocks has been materially stronger than that. Now the question is whether the run in financials can continue in 2012.
Investors should expect earnings to play a big role this week, but a handful of financial sector trades already in play are already worth watching. That's why we're taking a technical look at charts of five financial names you need to see.For the unfamiliar, technical analysis is a way for investors to quantify qualitative factors, such as investor psychology, based on a stock's price action and trends. Once the domain of cloistered trading teams on Wall Street, technicals can help top traders make consistently profitable trades and can aid fundamental investors in better planning their stock execution. >>5 Stocks Poised for Breakouts So without further ado, let's take a look at five financial stocks worth trading now.