Banks hit new highs, but Fed could ‘put the brakes’ on their momentum

Soaring bank stocks look ripe for a pullback, some market watchers are warning.

"The market has gotten way ahead of itself. And I think it's going to be the Fed that is going to put the brakes on this whole notion," Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management, said Tuesday on CNBC's "Power Lunch."

A handful of banking giants hit multiyear highs Tuesday as the financial sector continues to thrive in the weeks since the U.S. election.

Shares of Bank of America, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs hit their highest levels since November 2008, August 2015 and November 2007, respectively; JPMorgan hit an all-time high.

These records come as the financial sector has surged since the election, up nearly 19 percent in the last month as the market's best-performing sector in that time.

Bank stocks are heavily reliant on the bond-yield environment, and as the perceived odds of the Fed raising rates next week have risen, the banks have gotten a big boost. Schlossberg warns that rather than raise rates over and over again, "the Fed could simply do the one and done," hiking in December and then choosing to "sit for the next six months."

Matt Maley, equity strategist and technical analyst at Miller Tabak, calls the banks "overbought and quite extended" at this juncture.

Under a Trump administration, "the long-term picture for banks should be positive ... with less regulation, a stronger economy and higher interest rates. However, they won't rally in a straight line," Maley wrote to CNBC in a email Tuesday.

Maley's analysis of the charts suggests that long-term yields will soon drop, which could be expected to lead to a dip for the bank stocks.


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Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen joined CNBC in December 2013 as a correspondent, focusing on the global consumer. She is co-anchor of the 10AM ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET), broadcast from Post 9 at the New York Stock Exchange.

In March 2018, Eisen was named co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

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