Exchange-traded funds tracking financial stocks were among the best performers this week as traders hoped -- again -- that banks are finally close to getting rid of the last of their soured assets.
The Ultra Financials ProShares (UYG - Get Report) soared 12.3% for the week. The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF), iShares Dow Jones U.S. Financial Services (IYG) and Vanguard Financials (VFH) ETF added 5.9% or more.
Earlier this week, both UBS (UBS) and Deutsche Bank (DB - Get Report) announced they'll be taking billions more in writedowns in the first quarter, leading traders to surmise that financial firms are making a final push to get rid of those bad assets and move past the subprime calamity that has dragged down the market. Also cheering traders was news that UBS and Lehman Brothers (LEH) have set plans to raise more capital.