Banks have led the market the entire quarter, up nearly 11 percent. They've been market leaders ever since early July, as the group rose going into JPMorgan's better-than-expected numbers and commentary on July 14 and have not looked back.
Though higher interest rates have not materialized, banks have benefited from a small improvement in loan growth and fees, which for some banks are now 40 percent of revenues.
There may be an additional factor in the banks' rise this quarter: The presidential election. Banks are the top performing industry from Labor Day to Election Day for the past six presidential cycles, according to Kensho. As a group, they've risen five of the last six presidential cycles with a mean beta-adjusted return of 6 percent. That means the excess return over the S&P 500 has been 6 percent. Quite a difference.
Zions, BNY Mellon, KeyCorp, and Wells Fargo have particularly stood out during these periods.
Banks this quarter