NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Coincidentally or not, the May 6 "flash crash" is shaping up as a good marker for when the current bearish mood took hold of the market.
European woes have been a big factor in the sell-off, but a hardening of legislators' determination to take the banks to task for their role in wrecking the U.S. economy has also been a major influence, and bank stocks in general were weak again on Friday as Congress hammered away at reconciling separate House and Senate financial reform bills.
As a result, all 50 of the largest U.S. banks, not just giant ones with international exposure like Citigroup (C) or Bank of America (BAC) were down from May 5 through Tuesday of this week. The SPDR KBW Bank ETF (KBE) is down more than 12% in that stretch.
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