Since the late February correction the financial stocks have lagged the major stock indexes. On March 16, 2011 the major stock indexes all made a pivot low, however, the large financial stocks have not rallied as much with most other sectors. The highly popular Financial Select SPDR Fund (NYSE:XLF) was trading as low as $15.80 a share on March 16, 2011. Today the XLF is trading around the $16.45 level. While the XLF has bounced it is trading below the daily chart 50 moving averages which can often signal a sign of weakness. In late November 2010, it was the financial stocks that lead the stock market advance.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is the leading financial stock in the market. This stock is considered the best and most influential stock in the sector. JPM is trading above the major moving averages, however, it is still trading below the February 16, 2011 high which was $48.36 a share. This recent high will still be resistance for the stock should it trade up to that level. This morning JPM is trading lower by 0.03 to $46.33 a share.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) is trading lower by 0.07 cents to $31.74 a share this morning. This leading financial stock is trading below the daily chart 50 moving average which is a sign of weakness. The stock will have daily chart support around the $30.50 level. Should the stock rally higher the $33.00 level will be near term resistance.
When a leading sector fails to participate in a rally it is usually a sign of weakness in the sector. It can also signal that the overall market may not be as strong as it appears on the surface.