Today’s market notwithstanding, the financial sector has started to lead the general market once again.
Here is a chart of the Philadelphia Banking Index (BKX) alongside the S&P 500 Index (SPX):
The de-coupling started just recently but it is unmistakeable. Here is another way of looking at the relationship between the indices:
The change has just started and it is far too early to declare a trend change just yet. For that, we need to see the downtrend line broken to the upside by a continued surge in the financial sector.
But the important thing is that counter intuitively, a bull market doesn’t need the financial stocks’ leadership.
The spike low corresponds to late June, when the bullish percent for the banking sector dipped below 10% - actually going all the way to 5.62%. The last time we saw the bullish percent this close to zero was back in mid January 2008. And as far as I have data, never before!
This financial turmoil is unprecedented. For as far as the Philadelphia Banking Index has been trading, it hasn’t broken down this drastically. What we are seeing is tectonic shifts in the banking industry which will not only reverberate for some time to come, but it will produce a horizon drastically different from the one we knew just a month ago.
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