The one sector that stands out the most to us at The Informed Trader this month is the weak price action in the banking sector. Many banking sector names are seeing 15%-to-25% downside moves during January, something we have not seen since the 2008-2009 bear market slide. As the banks go, so often does the broad market.

Lets start by taking a look at the broad Monthly KBE Banking Index chart below:


Chart Composed by The Informed Trader courtesy of Stockcharts.

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The index is down a striking 16% this month thus far. Whether its pressure from the tentacles from the rapid fall from oil or global banks coming under recent pressure, as seen in Deutsche Bank, among others, the price action is troubling to say the least. There is some support down at the $55 area, still about 10% or so from current levels.

Next, lets take a look at some individual chart names. The first is Bank of America (BAC) - Get Report down 20% this month alone:


Chart Composed by The Informed Trader courtesy of Stockcharts.

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As seen in the Bank of America chart above, the stock has broken down to fresh multi-year lows this month, with longer term support in the $7.50 area. Next lets take a look at Citigroup (C) - Get Report :


Chart Composed by The Informed Trader courtesy of Stockcharts.

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Citigroup is down even more than Bank of America, a whopping 21.7% this month alone. The 20% means the bank is in a bear market and some of these banks are seeing those type of moves during January, a red flag to us.

Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report has also been struggling along with Morgan Stanley (MS) - Get Report . We've considered Goldman Sachs a leader in both bull and bear markets and, as seen below, Goldman Sachs has been under some heavy pressure of late, breaking down out of a head/shoulder top pattern:


Chart Composed by The Informed Trader courtesy of Stockcharts.

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Next lets take a look at a regional bank, Suntrust (STI) - Get Report , off the Monthly timeframe:


Chart Composed by The Informed Trader courtesy of Stockcharts.

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The recent carnage is not limited to the money center banks, as seen above. Suntrust is down about 18% for the month thus far.

Back in the 2007-2008 period, the banks came under pressure ahead of the market move south. This time around they seem to be moving south in tandem. We have been in a defensive posture for much of the past two-to-three months, in part due to the price action in the financial sector. Until we see it stabilize, we consider odds high that we continue in a bear market move off our 2015 highs.

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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.