Bank stocks took a major beating in midmorning trading Wednesday.
Though most financial institutions recently reported better-than-expected third-quarter results, a majority of bank stocks were in the red and financials was the single worst-performing sector so far on the day.
Bank of America, the second-largest U.S. bank, posted a narrower-than-expected loss of 1 cent versus average analyst expectation for 9 cents. Still, BofA saw its shares fall up to 4 percent after it reported its results Wednesday morning. On the company's conference call, there were numerous questions about interest rate sensitivity.
So what's going on? To some it could be a risk-on, risk-off scenario. In other words, investors are taking profits and minimizing risk as fears mount about everything from a lack of global economic growth to Ebola and rising geopolitical tensions around the world, among other worries.