S&P 500 Financials’ Show of Strength Faces Earnings Test
The largest U.S. banks and their financial-industry peers have more at stake than usual as they begin reporting first-quarter results. This can be seen by comparing the performance of the S&P 500 Financials Index with the broader S&P 500. Financials led by a total of 23.2 percentage points in the six months ended March 31, according to quarterly data compiled by Bloomberg. The two-quarter lead was the biggest in relative terms since 2009, when the industry gauge surpassed the S&P 500 by 37.5 points in the second and third quarters.