Market Insider

Bank stocks drop into the red for the year as Trump trade falls apart

Key Points
  • The S&P SPDR Financial Select Sector is now down about 0.2 percent for the year after losses Wednesday.
  • Bank stocks were a key part of the so-called Trump trade on the promise for deregulation and tax reform.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters

One of the most popular post-election trades just lost all its 2017 gains.

The S&P SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF (XLF) turned negative for the year on Wednesday as investors grew wary about President Donald Trump's domestic and foreign policies.

Trump said earlier on Wednesday he wants to repeal and replace Obamacare before moving on to tax reform, one of the most-anticipated pieces of legislation among market participants and a particularly important one for the banking sector. The Trump administration was dealt a body-blow late last month when the House of Representatives failed to even put an Obamacare replacement bill on the voting floor.

Industrials, another key part of the so-called Trump trade, were lower Wednesday as well, but are still up for the year.

Regional banks such as Fifth Third Bancorp and M&T Bank were among the biggest losers Wednesday in the financial sector.

The XLF ETF is still up 16 percent since the election.

Meanwhile, investors have recently loaded up on safe-haven assets as tensions with Russia and North Korea escalate. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Moscow on Wednesday and received a barrage of criticism from several Russian officials, as they called the U.S. attack in Syria "primitive" and "inconsistent."

--With reporting by CNBC's Gina Francolla.