U.S. stocks gave up all of their July gains on Monday, with the Dow posting a triple-digit decline, while financials weighed on the S&P 500 .
The S&P Financials sector hit the low of the year this morning, falling below the lows set last month. Indeed, the sector is now at its lowest level since November 30. Financial stocks are down nearly 9 percent in 2011, far underperforming gains in the rest of the markets (The S&P 500 is up 3.65 percent this year):
The weakness in financials comes on the heels of earnings quality concerns following Citigroup and JPMorgan’s better-than-expected earnings reports last week. Those banks beat estimates, but enhanced their results by the release of loan loss reserves, an expense set aside as an allowance for bad loans.