NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Banks stocks have been hitting lows not seen since 2009 in recent sessions, the rally on Monday offering only a small relief to shareholders.
Bank analysts have been slashing their estimates and price targets for the sector, as uncertainties surrounding European debt crisis and mortgage-related litigation continue to persist, while the impact of regulatory changes and a prolonged low-interest rate cycle might play out over several quarters.
Still, industry observers are quick to point out that the sector is much healthier than it was at the depth of the financial crisis. Banks have much stronger capital and liquidity levels now and have significantly tightened underwriting standards in recent years, which means they are better placed to cope with an economic downturn.
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