It's a good week to be in banking stocks.
As Wall Street tries to shake off the reality of a trade war with China and enjoys the spillover momentum from a strong U.S. jobs report late last week, equities have enjoyed gains with the S&P 500
The KBW Nasdaq Bank Index (BKX) has pushed 3.2% higher in the last two sessions, nearly doubling the performance of the broader market.
And the strong cause for optimism in banking stocks comes just about two weeks after the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) tallied 13 straight days of losses from June 11 through June 27. That fund has climbed 3.1% in the past two sessions.
Financials have performed well following the Federal Reserve's stress tests in late June. The Fed determined that 31 of the 35 lenders it tested maintained strong balance sheets and had proper plans in place in the event of a global recession. KBW analysts suggested that the six largest U.S. banks could increase their returns by about $80 billion total as a result of earning the Fed's seal of approval.
Wall Street is also anticipating - optimistically, it would seem - bank earnings over the next two weeks as the sector kicks off second-quarter earnings season. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) , Citigroup Inc. (C) and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) will report earnings on Friday, July 13. Next week will bring Bank of America Corp (BAC) earnings on Monday, July 16, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) earnings on Tuesday, July 17, and Morgan Stanley (MS) earnings on Wednesday, July 18.
But as bank stocks win, utilities lose.
The PHLX Utility Sector Index (UTY) fell 3.1% on Monday, July 9, snapping a four-day winning streak. The loss, seemingly in near-perfect contradiction of the banking sector, comes about two weeks after the utilities index notched 10 straight days of gains from June 14 through June 27.
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