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Financial ETFs rising by the most since April 1 amid upbeat bank earnings

Mark DeCambre

Shares of exchange-traded funds that are focused on the financial sector were seeing their best gains since April 1. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF was up 2.5% on Friday morning, while the Invesco KBW Bank ETF , focused on large-capitalization banks, advanced 2.4% in early morning action. Those gains, if they hold, would represent the best day for the ETFs since April 1, according to FactSet data. That climb follows better-than-expected first-quarter results from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. , which helped to lift the broader market. The performance of large banks can be a bellwether for coming earnings because that group unofficially kicks off earnings season on Wall Street. Better-than-expected performance from banks also can provide clues about the health of the overall economy, particularly as investors and economists worry about the possibility of a recession taking hold. A rise in the banking sector was helping to power the S&P 500 index , with the S&P 500's financial sector gaining about 2%.