The entire banking sector was exempt from the stock market rally in the first half of 2018, and these dogs of the U.S. market may not have a great outlook for the near-future either. 

"I don't necessarily see that easing up for the first quarter of 2019," said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist of TD Ameritrade. 

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) is down 27.65% year-to-date. Citigroup Inc. (C) is down 16.33% this year. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) is up 0.27% this year. The SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (KRE) is down 10.57% this year. 

The flattish yield curve has really hurt bank stocks this year, Kinahan said, and while some have thought there might be shelter in regional banks, that hasn't been the case. The trade war could have caused investors to pile into regional banks, which are somewhat shielded from international trade issues, but the yield curve has hurt them too. "The regional banks have really taken it on the chin with that," Kinahan said. 

"That gives some momentum to the larger banks," he said. But that momentum hasn't really kicked in either, because "if the long end of this curve doesn't come up, it really becomes more difficult for them." 

Which group has the advantage? Maybe the bigger banks have it, because "they've become so well managed," he said.   

GS, C and JPM are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club . Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells those? Learn more now.

 

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