U.S. Markets closed

Another Call for a Bank ETF Breakout


The financial services sector has enjoyed a strong 2013, but there has recently persistent chatter among some technical analysts that bank stocks and the exchange traded funds that hold them are on the cusp of significant breakouts.

“The KBW Banking index is nearing a price zone that has been key to it as support and resistance for over a decade. The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) finds itself at the 50% Fibonacci recovery price of the 2007-09 Financial crisis,” said Chris Kimble of Kimble Charting Solutions.

XLF, the largest U.S. sector ETF, has surged 32% this year, but even with that pop, the fund is among a group of noteworthy ETFs that are still nowhere close to their pre-crisis highs. XLF would need to gain another 77.5% to reclaim its 2007 highs. [10 ETFs Still Nowhere Near Pre-Crisis Highs]

As for the KBW Banking Index other technical analysts have recently called attention to the potential for a breakout on that index.

“The KBW banks Index (BKX) is consolidating within the rising channel from late 2012 and is set up for a breakout that would set up a rally to channel resistance at 74-75. A break above 67 for the BKX would would complete the bullish consolidation…,” said Bank of America Merrill Lynch technical strategist Stephen Suttmeier in part of a note posted by Josh Brown on The Reformed Broker.

The KBW Bank Index closed at $67.42 on Friday. That index is tracked by the PowerShares KBW Bank Portfolio (KBWB) . KBWB is up 28% this year, which is slightly better than its index, indicating that tracking error is not a big problem with this ETF. [Big Bank ETF Boom May be Near]

KBWB allocates about a third of its weight to, in this order, Citigroup (NYSE: C), Bank of America (BAC), J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC). J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) and Bank of America are XLF’s top-four holdings, combining for 30.8% of that fund’s weight.

PowerShares KBW Bank Portfolio

ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.