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February 1, 2010 Monday 10:15 AM EST
SECTION: NEWS & COMMENTARY; Markets; Financial Stocks
LENGTH: 217 words
HEADLINE: Broader financial sector joins regional rally
BYLINE: Greg Morcroft, MarketWatch mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greg Morcroft is MarketWatch’s financial editor in New York.
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. financial stocks rose more than 1% as investors put a miserable January behind them, and continued to show their enthusiasm for regional banking stocks, which Credit Suisse said Monday have a lot of gains left in them.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) , which tracks the financial stocks in the S&P 500, added 1%, and the KBW Regional Banking ETF (KRE) added 0.8%.
Monday’s top gainers included E-Trade Financial (ETFC) , Northern Trust (NTRS) , Comerica (CMA) and Visa (V) . Visa reports earnings on Wednesday.
On the downside, SunTrust (STI) , Chubb (CB) and Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) all fell.
Analysts at Credit Suisse on Monday sang the praises of the regional banks, a sector that rose 13% in January in an otherwise bleak market.
“We believe investors should continue to overweight the regional banks following strong overall results in the fourth quarter,” they said.
The analysts cited continuing improvement in net interest margins, non-performing loans and net charge-offs as reasons for optimism.
“We still believe (regional banking) stocks have significant upside, around 80%, until mid 2012,” the researchers concluded.
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