U.S. bank stocks drop broadly after default by stock fund manager


U.S. bank stocks fell broadly on Monday on news of losses at some global investment banks after a fund’s default, even knocking down shares of domestic lenders generally removed from equity markets.

The KBW Nasdaq Bank stock index fell as much as 3.4% before paring losses to 2% at mid-afternoon. Shares of big U.S. banks and even regional banks, such as Truist Financial and PNC Financial Services Group, dropped after Nomura Holdings Inc and Credit Suisse Group AG warned of billions of dollars in potential losses after a fund, named by sources as Archegos, defaulted on margin calls.

“This is an ideal excuse for any investor to take profits in financials, said Christopher Marinac, director of research at Janney Montgomery Scott. “Banks stocks have done very well this quarter.”

“The real question is whether this becomes a bigger systemic incident that lingers for several weeks,” he said.

The KBW index had gained 24% this year through Friday.

Bank stocks have gained largely on rising bond yields, which could boost net interest income. The rollout of vaccinations and government stimulus programs have also fueled optimism for loan growth and lower-than-expected losses on bad loans.

On many days this year bank stocks have gone up or down with the 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield, said Marinac.

Late Monday morning bank stocks began to rise from their initial lows after the 10-year yield rose to 1.70% from Friday’s 1.66%.