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Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF)

- NYSEARCA
  • Tue, May 19, 11:17 AM
    • April was about as expected, but revenue from fixed income, currencies, and commodities isn't looking good at the investment banks in May, according to the team at JPMorgan.
    • Equity business, however, is outperforming, which should be to the benefit of shops like SocGen (OTCPK:SCGLY), UBS, and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS).
    • At Morgan Stanley, CEO James Gorman - speaking to reporters following the annual meeting - says market conditions have remained "solid" in spite of geopolitical news which would have spooked investors in the past. Gorman declined to give a more specific update on how Q2 was faring at his bank.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, BTO, IAI, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, FINU, KCE, RWW, RYF, KBWC, FINZ
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  • Wed, Apr. 22, 1:20 PM
    • "We have consumer staples (NYSEARCA:XLP) and healthcare stocks (NYSEARCA:XLV) trading on average at 20 times earnings and five times book value - while these stocks aren’t often thought of as value, they actually comprise 20% of the Russell 1000 Value (NYSEARCA:IWB) index," says Richard Pzena on the company (NYSE:PZN) earnings call (transcript).
    • Add REITs and utilities to the mix, he continues, and it's pretty hard to call that value index "value" anymore.
    • "The natural question: Is it different this time? Does this era of low interest rates presage something permanently different ... We believe that the odds of such an outcome are low."
    • Though, not getting into in the subject during the earnings call, Pzena presumably remains bullish on the large-cap financial sector names (NYSEARCA:XLF) which continue to be weighed down on by ZIRP.
    • Previously: Low-rate "torture" for the regional lenders (April 21)
    | Comment!
  • Tue, Apr. 21, 9:37 PM
    • "This whole discussion today about when interest rates move is torture for us,” said U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) CEO Richard Davis on last week's earnings call. “I remain very optimistic for the economy … a little less optimistic for the bankers until interest rates start to move up.”
    • Earlier today, Regions Financial (NYSE:RF) and Fifth Third (NASDAQ:FITB) became the latest in a line of lenders reporting slimming net interest margins. For Regions, the average yield on its loan portfolio fell to 3.45% from 4.03% a year ago. "You’re trying to book the prudent loans that you have the opportunity to, but with the level of competition in the market, it’s hard to move those rates up absent some kind of interest-rate increase," said Regions chief Grayson Hall on the earnings call.
    • On average, U.S. banks with more than $10B in assets showed a NIM of 2.97% in Q4, the lowest level in 25 years according to the FDIC ... And it got worse in Q1. Six of the nine big commercial banks reporting so far - including Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and PNC Financial - had Q1 margins lower than Q4.
    • Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Regions - two banks seen as particularly sensitive to interest rates - are unsurprisingly the worst performers in the KBW bank index (NYSEARCA:KBE) this year, off 13.9% and 9.3% respectively.
    • What to do? Regions, for one, is trying to emulate the Wall Street big boys by bulking up its wealth management and capital markets operations. And maybe there's some more fat to trim. “We’re going to turn up the heat on expenses…and we’ll see where we get to,” said PNC boss William Demchak on last week's conference call.
    • Source; WSJ's Peter Rudegeair
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, KBWB, FINU, QABA, KRU, KBWR, RWW, RYF, FINZ, KRS
    | 9 Comments
  • Fri, Apr. 17, 3:02 PM
    • "[Interest spreads] are unimaginably low for those of us who have followed this area for a long time,” says Nancy Bush of NAB Research.
    • While low rates have provided occasional income boosts at lenders thanks to bursts of refinancing and the related fees, that well may have run dry. Now banks must rely on the gap between what they pay for deposits and what they charge for loans, and at Wells Fargo the spread dropped below 3% for the first time in decades, and at JPMorgan, it's just 2.07% after falling another seven basis points in Q1.
    • On the expense side, the low-hanging fruit of big cuts following the financial collapse is gone, with at least some of it replaced by legal costs which won't quit and regulatory costs which look here to stay.
    • Mergers? One look at the 3-years-and-running battle to close Hudson CIty and M&T Bank is enough to make any management shy about pursuing large acquisitions.
    • Source: Ben McLannahan and Tom Braithwaite in the FT.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, KBWB, FINU, QABA, KRU, KBWR, RWW, RYF, FINZ, KRS
    | Comment!
  • Mon, Apr. 6, 4:21 PM
    • The TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index edged up to 4.75 in March from a two-year low of 4.70 in February, suggesting clients are just slightly more optimistic as the calendar turns to April than they were in February.
    • Clients continued to buy the dip in energy (NYSEARCA:XLE) names like Exxon, Chesapeake Energy, and SeaDrill, while selling popular financial stocks (NYSEARCA:XLF) like Citigroup and AIG.
    • The IMX has moved roughly inline with the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) over the past three years, but there's been a clear divergence over the past six months, with the IMX trending decidedly lower while the market continues on to new highs.
    • Source: TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index
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  • Thu, Apr. 2, 7:35 AM
    • Expecting the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) to gain only another 2% by year-end, and noting the index's pricey relative valuation, Goldman's David Kostin recommends investors instead by the Nasdaq 100 (NASDAQ:QQQ) - its expected earnings growth of 14% tops the S&P's 5%, but both indexes trade at similar P/Es.
    • Breaking it down into sectors, Kostin recommends being Overweight information technology, energy (NYSEARCA:XLE), and telecom services (XTL, IYZ).
    • Neutral: Health care (NYSEARCA:XLV), consumer discretionary (NYSEARCA:XLY), materials (NYSEARCA:XLB), and utilities (NYSEARCA:XLU).
    • Underweight: Financials (NYSEARCA:XLF), consumer staples (NYSEARCA:XLP), and industrials (NYSEARCA:XLI).
    | 7 Comments
  • Wed, Apr. 1, 4:33 PM
    • Looking for some kind of growth wherever they can find it, banks are about to get their wish as Fair Isaac is set to launch a new credit scoring metric which should expand by tens of millions the field of those eligible to get credit.
    • The new score will pull payment histories for things like utilities to calculate credit scores for consumers who might otherwise not have one. Other things - like how often someone changes address - will be used to help calculate a score.
    • FICO and 10 unnamed credit card issuers have been testing the new score since November, and Fair Isaac intends to roll things out nationwide by year-end. Right now, about 15M of the 53M previously unscorable Americans can be scored using the new system.
    • Source: WSJ
    • Among those of interest: WFC, C, BAC, JPM, COF, DFS, AXP
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, KBWB, QABA, FINU, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, FINZ, KRS
    | 16 Comments
  • Thu, Mar. 26, 4:37 PM
    • The big banks have had a rough start to the year, but surging trading volume in bonds, currencies, and commodities in Q1 could make for pleasant surprises when the lenders report quarterly results next month, writes John Carney.
    • The average daily trading volume across all U.S. bonds was up 10.6% Y/Y through the end of February, according to Sifma, with trading in corporate bonds up 18.1%, driven by a big rise in issuance. Trading in Fannie, Freddie, and Ginnie MBS was up 35.3% from a year ago.
    • Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) could be a particular beneficiary, as about 25% of its revenue is generated by FICC, and Credit Suisse sees the bank posting its first year-over-year increase in that unit's revenue since 2009.
    • Others of interest: Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM).
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, IAI, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, FINU, KCE, RWW, RYF, KBWC, FINZ
    | 5 Comments
  • Tue, Mar. 24, 8:05 AM
    • At least so far, this year is looking a lot like the last few years to those waiting for higher interest rates to boost spread income. Writing in the company annual report, MetLife (NYSE:MET) CEO Steven Kandarian says the insurer continues to expect a 10-year Treasury yield of 4-4.5% by year-end 2017, but the risk remains of a miss to the underside.
    • If rates do stay low, says Kandarian, maintaining last year's 12% ROE over the long term would prove difficult. Investors, says Kandarian, should judge financial companies not on absolute ROE, but on the spread between ROE and 10-year yields.
    • It makes sense, writes John Carney, but sounds like a warning signal on returns going forward, not just for MetLife, but its insurance peers and the banks.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, KIE, SEF, IYG, IAK, FXO, FNCL, FINU, RWW, RYF, KBWP, KBWI, FINZ
    | 1 Comment
  • Fri, Mar. 20, 2:19 PM
    • Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEARCA:XLF) announces quarterly distribution of $0.091.
    • 30-Day Sec yield of 1.58% (as of 03/18/2015).
    • Payable Mar 30; for shareholders of record Mar 24; ex-div Mar 20.
    | Comment!
  • Thu, Mar. 19, 7:50 AM
    • Citigroup (NYSE:C), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), and UBS are among the large lenders facing millions in losses on energy loans made last year. The lenders intended to sell the paper, but have had difficulty doing so even after cutting prices.
    • "We've been pretty shy about dipping back into energy names," says a loan-portfolio manager at DoubleLine, summing up the industry attitude.
    • It's a sizable setback for Wall Street (not to mention energy companies whose financing has dried up), which has earned $31B in energy company-related fees over the last five years, according to Dealogic.
    • Shades of the mortgage crisis? Not even close, say investors, as banks at the end of the housing bubble held hundreds of billions of dollars of souring mortgages and corporate paper on their books.
    • Source: WSJ
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, IAI, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, FINU, KCE, RWW, RYF, KBWC, FINZ
    | 2 Comments
  • Wed, Mar. 18, 2:41 PM
    | 11 Comments
  • Tue, Mar. 17, 11:10 AM
    • A possible harbinger of things to come next month when the big banks report Q1 earnings, profits at Jefferies plunged in FQ1 (ended Feb. 28), with FICC, capital markets, and investment banking particularly weak.
    • Previously: Poor results at Jefferies sinks Leucadia (March 17)
    • Jefferies parent Leucadia is lower by 3.7%. Goldman Sachs (GS -1.1%), Morgan Stanley (MS -0.9%), JPMorgan (JPM -1.2%), Citigroup (C -0.1%), Bank of America (BAC -0.8%).
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, IAI, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, FINU, KCE, RWW, RYF, KBWC, FINZ
    | 2 Comments
  • Thu, Mar. 12, 7:37 AM
    • "There is no system anywhere in the world as absurd as the regulatory system set up in the U.S. to control the banking industry," says an on-point Dick Bove, after the release of the CCAR results.
    • The "basically nationalized" banks' balance sheets are now dictated by "hypothetical" situations created in the stress test, says Bove. "But it's not hypothetical if you force the banking companies to restructure their balance sheets to adjust to that hypothetical," he says, noting banks are now punished if they don't carry the proper mix of securities and loans in their portfolios - something that should be up to investors to do, not D.C.
    • XLF +0.4% premarket
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, IAI, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, KBWB, QABA, FINU, KCE, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, KBWC, FINZ, KRS
    • CCAR coverage on Seeking Alpha
    | 39 Comments
  • Wed, Mar. 11, 11:22 AM
    • Last Thursday evening's stress test results were just the warm-up act for the CCAR decisions due today at 4:30 ET. While all 31 banks subjected to the extra scrutiny of the stress test passed, it doesn't mean the Fed will approve their capital return plans, and while some - Goldman Sachs, Zions, and Morgan Stanley - barely squeaked by, it doesn't mean the Fed won't approve their buyback and dividend proposals.
    • After the CCAR results are released, expect most of the group of 31 to announce their capital return plans.
    • For foreign lenders with U.S. units - Deutsche Bank and Santander come to mind - the Fed only has a say into what the subsidiary sends back to the parent, not what the parent ultimately returns to shareholders.
    • XLF +0.6%, KBE +0.45%, KR +0.4%.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, IAI, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, KBWB, QABA, FINU, KCE, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, KBWC, FINZ, KRS
    • Previously: Stress test roundup: How the lenders stack up vs. last year (March 5)
    | Comment!
  • Mon, Mar. 9, 3:55 PM
    • "The Fed has created a process that is prohibitively expensive for banks, produces little in the way of useful information for investors, and has almost no value in terms of public policy," writes Kroll Bond Rating's Chris Whalen of the just-concluded bank stress tests.
    • "Measuring the ability of a bank to absorb loss via retained earnings and capital is a straight-forward exercise that the Fed has needlessly complicated to the point of irrelevance."
    • Even for all of its complexity, the stress test fails to consider off-balance sheet vehicles, says Whalen, and these are what really caused the financial crisis. "No amount of capital can suffice to protect financial institutions and markets if the major banks are allowed to conceal liabilities via OBS transactions."
    • Finally: "Who is managing the bank during the three months required to assemble a response to the Fed’s stress test requirements?"
    • Don't sugarcoat it Chris, tell us how you really feel.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, IAI, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, KBWB, QABA, FINU, KCE, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, KBWC, FINZ, KRS
    | 1 Comment
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The Financial Select Sector SPDR® Fund, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the Financial Select Sector Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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Sector: Financial
Country: United States
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