The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
By Ivan Martchev for InvestorPlace
NEW YORK (InvestorPlace) -- The S&P 500 Index was up 12.59% in the first quarter, with banks coming in as the best-performing sector, up 21.46%. Naturally, the question arises: Should investors chase the Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) for the rest of the year, given that this great start in 2012 might signal this once-glorious group's long-awaited comeback?
My answer: not aggressively.In a previous outlook on financial stocks reviewing the first quarter and providing outlooks for the second, it was the equivalent of feeding a juicy T-bone to a hungry carnivore. But I prefer taking a top-down perspective because a bottom-up approach to big banks isn't as productive now given the financial system's current situation. Enterprising minds might want to click on the links to the relevant monetary indicators in the text.
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