Bank shares to jump after stress tests: History

Bank of America
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

History shows you can bank on financials to rise on Thursday.

As CNBC Pro reported Tuesday , many investors are betting financial stocks will become the bull market leaders this year after stress-test results come out Wednesday and banks are then able to raise their dividends and buy back stock.

Now, thanks to our friends at Kensho, we learn that history backs up this thesis, at least in the short term.

Since the Federal Reserve began the post-financial crisis stress tests in 2009, the S&P Financial Sector ETF has risen 1.7 percent, on average, the first trading day after the results. The group was positive 80 percent of the time.

Results of the stress tests for individual banks are due after the bell Wednesday. (The study looked at the more-important second round of the tests, which reveal just how big banks' capital return programs can be.)


The best performers included Regions Financial, Capital One, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America. Citigroup was the only exception, falling on average by 1 percent.

Most notably, Citigroup shares fell by more than 5 percent on the day following the test last year after the company infamously failed. It was the only major bank to do so in 2014.

History shows Goldman Sachs managed just a 0.4 percent gain, on average, after the release of the results. Traders are watching the bank's results Wednesday very closely as there is concern after poor first-round data last week, which tested Goldman's success at resisting an economic downturn, that it may not be allowed to raise dividends as much as other members of the group.

The financial ETF gained 0.5 percent in Wednesday morning trading, the biggest increase among the 10 S&P 500 sector ETFs.

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—CNBC's Lisa Villalobos contributed to this report.

Disclosure: CNBC's parent NBCUniversal is a minority investor in Kensho.

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