Financials took a swing higher on Tuesday, Sept. 12, as U.S. tax reform again became a focus.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin amped up expectations of tax reform before the year is out on Tuesday morning, even bringing up the possibility of backdating changes to Jan. 1.
At a CNBC "Delivering Alpha" event, Mnuchin said the Trump White House was "super focused" on reform, particularly now that a deal to fund the government through December was made last week.
However, Mnuchin did back off Donald Trump's pledge of a decrease in the corporate tax rate to 15% and said it may not be able to be achieved "given the budget issue."
On Wednesday, Aug. 30, Trump gave a rough outline of his vision for tax reform and called on Congress to act. In a speech in Missouri, Trump said he wanted to reduce the "crushing" tax burden by "fundamentally [reforming]" a confusing tax code. Among the few details listed, he again said he wanted to cut the corporate tax rate to 15% from 35%.
The tax cut would be part of four main goals the president said should be included in a tax overhaul: simplifying the tax code, making it more competitive with tax regimes in other countries, providing tax relief for middle-class families and encouraging U.S. companies to bring back trillions of dollars in profits "parked overseas."
Major banks including Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC - Get Report) , Bank of America Corp. (BAC - Get Report) , Citigroup Inc. (C - Get Report) , Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS - Get Report) and U.S. Bancorp (USB - Get Report) were all higher on Tuesday. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF - Get Report) increased 0.8%.
The financials ETF has risen more than 6% year to date, not quite keeping up the overall S&P 500's nearly 10% rise.
More of What's Trending on TheStreet: