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Financial stocks in broad selloff again, as Treasury yields fall

Tomi Kilgore

Financial stocks were broadly lower Friday, with the sector headed for a fourth-straight loss, as the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield dropped to a 15-month low in the wake of the Federal Reserve's downbeat economic outlook and disappointing eurozone data. The SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF shed 1.3%, with 67 of 68 components trading lower, and has not dropped 4.4% over the past four sessions. Among the ETF's most-active components, shares of Bank of America Corp. lost 1.4%, Citigroup Inc. gave up 2.4%, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. slid 0.9% and Regions Financial Corp. slumped 3.1%. Lower long-term interest rates can hurt bank profits, as the spread between what the banks earn on longer-term assets, such as loans, and what they pay to fund the assets with shorter-term liabilities, narrow. The financial ETF has lost 7.1% over the past 12 months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 7.9%.