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Traders debate whether banks are a buy after no good, very bad week

Are banks a no touch? 3 ways to play it

The "Fast Money" traders debated whether it's time to buy the banks after the SPDR S&P Bank ETF ended the week down 2.1 percent.

Bad news for the sector came from Wells Fargo, which will be investigated by the House Financial Services Committee for opening about 2 million accounts without customer authorization. The Justice Department also issued Deutsche Bank an opening settlement figure of $14 billion for a set of cases related to mortgage securities. The bank said in a statement it "has no intent to settle these potential civil claims anywhere near the number cited."

Wells Fargo shares fell more than 6 percent this week, while Deutsche's Frankfurt-listed shares fell 12 percent during the same period.

Besides continued headline risk for Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank, the sector is also in focus ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Sept. 20-21, trader Dan Nathan said.

"If we get a string of bad data — maybe it's jobs data, maybe it's manufacturing data — they may not go the 50/50 in December and these banks need higher rates for them to continue to go up," Nathan said. "I don't really see anything that compelling. I don't see interest rates ramping up between now and the end of the year ... I think it's going to be a political hot potato for a little bit."

Trader Steve Grasso said "there's no reason to buy banks" right now.

Trader Karen Finerman disagreed and said that the Federal Reserve not raising the benchmark federal funds rate is already priced into the sector.



Steve Grasso is long BA, CC, CHK, EVGN, KBH, MJNA, MON, MU, OLN, PFE, PHM, T, TWTR, GDX. Grasso's chidren own EFA, EFG, EWJ, IJR, SPY. No shorts. Stuart Frankel & Co Inc. and some of its Partners have a financial interest in DVN, LDP, WDR, AVP, CVX, FCX, ICE, KDUS, KO, MAT, MCD, MJNA, NE, NEM, OLN, OXY, RIG, STAG, TAXI, TEX, TITXF, URI, VALE, WDR, WYNN, ZNGA, CUBA, HSPO, ICE, AMZN, MJNA, TITXF, NXTD, SPY, QQQ, DIA, XLI, BGCP, VIRT, JCP, GE, AIR FP.


Karen Finerman is long AAL, BAC, C, DAL, DRII, DRII calls, FB, FL, GOGO, GOOG, GOOGL, JPM, LYV, KORS, KORS calls, KORS puts, M, MA, SEDG, SPY puts, UAL, URI, WIFI long call spreads. Her firm is long ANTM, AAPL, BAC, C, C calls, DRII, DRII calls, FB, GOOG, GOOGL, JPM, JPM calls, KORS, LYV, M, MOH, PLCE, SPY puts, URI, WIFI, and short IWM, MDY. Finerman is on the board of GrafTech International.


Dan Nathan is long TWTR, long PYPL call calendar, long FEZ Nov put spread, long EEM Nov put spread, long XLK Jan put spread, XLU Dec call spread


Guy Adami is long CELG, EXAS, GDX, INTC. Adami's wife, Linda Snow, works at Merck.