Seeking Alpha
 

Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF)

- NYSEARCA
  • Feb. 3, 2014, 7:15 PM
    • State Streets Global Advisors announced a fee cut on 9 ETFs; taking expenses down from 0.18% to 0.16% on the effected funds.
    • Assets under management for these 9 funds nearly tripled in 2013, driving SSgA to drop their prices; this could allow them to better compete with other market sector ETFs.
    • The 9 effected ETFs: XLB, XLE, XLF, XLI, XLK, XLP, XLU, XLV, XLY
    | Comment!
  • Jan. 27, 2014, 2:54 PM
    • “It is now obvious to us that the continuing objective of the Obama administration and the U.S. Attorney General is to punish banks and finance," writes Daivd Kotok's Cumberland Advisors, explaining a decision to underweight the banks.
    • The firm previously had been overweight the regionals via the KRE and just two weeks added exposure to the larger lenders through the KBWB, but has quickly decided to reverse that move. "We were wrong" in thinking the "persecution" of the banks was near over, says Cumberland.
    • "The investment strategy we pursued for our clients in this case was not to confront the U.S. Attorney General with an overweight position in a sector that he views as adversarial.”
    • Related ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, PSP, IYF, EUFN, IAI, KIE, IPF, IAT, SEF, IYG, IAK, PFI, FXO, IXG, KBWB, PEX, KME, RKH, QABA, FINU, KCE, KRU, RWW, KBWR, FNCL, RYF, KBWI, PSCF, FEFN, AXFN, KBWP, KRS, FINZ, EMFN, KBWC, KBWX
    | 6 Comments
  • Jan. 15, 2014, 2:49 AM
    • Federal regulators have decided to ease the Volcker Rule and will allow smaller banks to hold certain CDOs of trust-preferred securities (TRuPS) that they may otherwise have had to sell.
    • The move comes after the American Bankers Association threatened to sue over the provision, which the industry group said would have forced 275 small banks to take a $600M hit to capital.
    • The change would apply to any bank that invested in TRuPS-backed CDOs that were issued by banks with under $15B in assets. There are also time conditions attached.
    • At least three lenders - Zions Bancorp (ZION) being the most prominent - had said prior to the latest ruling that they would have to write down or divest the CDOs immediately at a substantial loss. Zions has assets of $55B.
    • Related ETFs: FAS, XLF, FAZ, UYG, KRE, KBE, VFH, IYF, SEF, IAT, IYG, PFI, FXO, KBWB, RKH, QABA, RWW, KRU, FINU, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, FNCL, KRS, FINZ
    | 3 Comments
  • Jan. 13, 2014, 5:09 AM
    | 2 Comments
  • Jan. 10, 2014, 7:10 AM
    • "I think [banks] still need to do more," says Mythili Raman, who currently heads the DOJ's Criminal Division. "It's not as it our enforcement actions are over. There's more to come, and that suggests to me that there are still banks that haven't gotten the message."
    • HSBC was let go with just a $1.9B fine last year after admitting to violations, and a similar agreement was notched with Standard Chartered. Citigroup and JPMorgan were cited for deficient controls and say they are working to fix the issues. Concerns with M&T Bank's money-laundering program has been cited by the Fed as a reason to hold up the merger with Hudson City Bancorp.
    • "Bankers don't make good junior G-men," says the ABA's Rob Rowe.
    • Raman counters that the DOJ isn't interested in going after banks for one-off slips, but instead is looking for a pattern of problematic behavior (read up on HSBC).
    • Related ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, SEF, IYG, PFI, FXO, KBWB, FINU, RWW, RYF, FNCL, PSCF, FINZ
    | 1 Comment
  • Jan. 5, 2014, 1:23 AM
    • Despite constant concerns about banks that are "too big too fail," the amount of assets that the U.S.'s five largest lenders control has grown to 44.2% of the total in the sector from 43.5% in 2012, a report from provider SNL Financial shows.
    • In 2007, the figure was 38.4% and in 1990 it was just 9.67%.
    • The banking operations of JPMorgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Wells Fargo (WFC) and U.S. Bancorp (USB) held $6.46T in assets as of Q3 2013.
    • The easing of regulation, which gained momentum in the 1990s, encouraged consolidation in the sector, as did the government pushing stronger banks to buy those that were about to collapse - or did collapse - because of the financial crisis in 2008.
    • ETFs: FAS, XLF, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, SEF, IAT, IYG, PFI, FXO, KBWB, KME, RKH, QABA, KRU, FINU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, FNCL, KRS, FINZ
    | 12 Comments
  • Dec. 29, 2013, 5:58 AM
    • Regulators are considering whether it would be "appropriate and consistent" with the Volcker Rule to allow smaller banks to hold certain CDOs of trust-preferred securities that they may otherwise have to sell. Authorities plan to make a ruling by January 15.
    • The news comes after the American Bankers Association threatened to sue over the provision, which the industry group says would force 275 small banks to take a $600M hit to capital.
    • At least three lenders - Zions Bancorp (ZION) being the most prominent - have said they would have to write down or divest such assets immediately at a substantial loss.
    • Related ETFs: FAS, XLF, FAZ, UYG, KRE, KBE, VFH, IYF, SEF, IAT, IYG, PFI, FXO, KBWB, RKH, QABA, RWW, KRU, FINU, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, FNCL, KRS, FINZ
    | Comment!
  • Dec. 23, 2013, 2:41 PM
    • The financial harm is "real, imminent, and irreparable," says the American Bankers Association of a Volcker Rule provision restricting bank ownership of certain CDOs of trust-preferred securities. At least three smaller lenders - Zions Bancorp (ZION +1.8%) being the most prominent - have said they would have to write down or sell such assets immediately at a substantial loss.
    • It's an accounting issue: If these assets are covered by Volcker, lenders must move them from the held-to-maturity bin to the available-for-sale bin, and take the necessary marks in the process.
    • "Banking entities investing in pooled Trups that do not pose the kind of systemic risk the Volcker rule is intended to capture are facing unexpected and precipitous write-downs on these investments that are not justified by any safety and soundness concern," says the ABA. "The effect of the Volcker rule on banking entities holding these investments is itself causing safety and soundness concerns." Unintended consequences? Who could have guessed?
    • Related ETFs: FAS, XLF, FAZ, UYG, KRE, KBE, VFH, IYF, SEF, IAT, IYG, PFI, FXO, KBWB, RKH, QABA, RWW, KRU, FINU, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, FNCL, KRS, FINZ
    | 2 Comments
  • Dec. 20, 2013, 12:34 PM
    • Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) announces quarterly distribution of $0.1011.
    • 30-day SEC yield of 1.40% (as of 12/18/2013).
    • For shareholders of record Dec 24; Payable Dec 31; Ex-div date Dec 20.
    | Comment!
  • Dec. 17, 2013, 4:19 AM
    | 3 Comments
  • Dec. 11, 2013, 10:02 AM
    | Comment!
  • Dec. 11, 2013, 4:13 AM
    • The board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) has authorized a draft plan on how the agency would break up large financial firms that are about to collapse and without a taxpayer bailout.
    • The FDIC has the authority to take over failing banks under the 2010 Dodd-Frank rule in order to limit the impact of any collapse on the financial system; the regulator would keep the operating parts of an institution open, prioritize creditor repayments - although this includes imposing losses as well - and it would recapitalize a firm.
    • The agency is now seeking public comment on the plan.
    • ETFs: FAS, XLF, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, SEF, IYG, FXO, PFI, KBWB, RWW, FINU, RYF, PSCF, FNCL, FINZ
    | 1 Comment
  • Dec. 10, 2013, 11:53 AM
    • Not letting the poor weather affect their meetings (or perhaps they were conducted by teleconference), the FDIC and the Fed vote to approve the Volcker rule which is designed to ban prop trading by banks. The CFTC postponed its vote due to the snow.
    • The CFTC's Bart Chilton - previously a critic of the rule for not being tough enough - has dropped his opposition, saying the final version closes loopholes and tries to end speculative trading dressed up as hedging (we'll call it the London Whale amendment).
    • On the other hand, the final document is 882 pages and compliance has been delayed for a year until July 2015 ... loopholes meet trucks.
    • Related ETFs: FAS, XLF, FAZ, UYG, KRE, KBE, VFH, IYF, SEF, IAT, IYG, PFI, FXO, KBWB, RKH, QABA, RWW, KRU, FINU, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, FNCL, KRS, FINZ
    | 4 Comments
  • Dec. 10, 2013, 3:33 AM
    • A panoply of regulators are due to disclose the details of the Volcker rule this morning and then formally adopt the measures later in the day.
    • The new regulations will ban banks from proprietary trading, and prevent them from owning over 3% of hedge funds and private-equity funds.
    • Banks fear that the rules could cost them billions of dollars by making it more difficult to engage in activities that are permitted under the regulation, such as market-making, underwriting and hedging against risks. Expect the lawyers to go through the proposals to see what could be struck down in court.
    • Tickers: C, JPM, MS, WFC, BAC, COF, GS, BK, USB
    • ETFs: FAS, XLF, FAZ, UYG, KRE, KBE, VFH, IYF, SEF, IAT, IYG, PFI, FXO, KBWB, RKH, QABA, RWW, KRU, FINU, KBWR, RYF, PSCF, FNCL, KRS, FINZ
    | 9 Comments
  • Dec. 4, 2013, 3:42 PM
    • Trade idea #6 for 2014 from Goldman Sachs is a long position in large cap bank indexes in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. The ETF choice for the U.S. is KBE, while EUFN could work for Europe (better ETFs for European and Japanese banks trade in those markets).
    • Faster growth and a steeper yield curve should boost U.S. banks, while those parts of the Japanese economy particularly levered to consumer spending - namely housing and banks - should see support. Europe should see growth of just 1%, but this would be a significant improvement over 2013.
    • Goldman also notes bank valuations remain below pre-crisis levels and could see a boost as the overall risk-taking backdrop improves.
    • Other relevant ETFs: FAS, XLF, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, SEF, IYG, FXO, PFI, KBWB, RWW, FINU, RYF, PSCF, FNCL, FINZ, IAI
    • Previous ideas are here
    | Comment!
  • Dec. 3, 2013, 3:50 PM
    • The CFTC sets a December 10 vote on the so-called Volcker rule which is supposed to ban banks from prop trading. It sounded so simple when politicians trumpeted it in 2010, but the reality of what banks do is slightly more complex and the text of the rule has mushroomed to 1K pages. GS, MS, JPM, BAC, and C, among others, will be eager to see what the regulations entail.
    • Any hopes for a watering-down of the rule likely ended with JPMorgan's $6B London Whale loss.
    • The SEC indicates it will act on the rule around the same time as the CFTC (3 other agencies must approve as well).
    • Related ETFs: FAS, XLF, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, SEF, IAI, IYG, PFI, FXO, KBWB, KCE, RWW, FINU, RYF, PSCF, FNCL, FINZ, KBWC
    | 8 Comments
Visit Seeking Alpha's
XLF vs. ETF Alternatives
XLF Description
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.
See more details on sponsor's website
Sector: Financial
Country: United States
ETF Hub
Find the right ETFs for your portfolio: Visit Seeking Alpha's ETF Hub