Banks are on the brink of cracking a critical level

The chart of the financials has reached a very precarious level, according to TradingAnalysis.com founder Todd Gordon.

Not only is the financials-tracking ETF (XLF) down about 1.5 percent year to date, but Gordon says its underperformance relative to tech stocks makes it among the most vulnerable in the event of a market pullback. Here's why:

• The XLF has fallen back down to the $26.50 level about four times this year. Gordon believes any weakness in the XLK could trickle down to financials, and push the XLF tumbling below that level.

• Furthermore, big bank names like J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo and Bank of America have also fallen and are struggling to make a comeback.

• As a result, Gordon wants to buy the July 6 weekly 27.5-strike put and sell the July 6 weekly 26.5-strike put for a total of 34 cents, or $34 per options spread.

The trade: Gordon is suggesting buying the July 6 weekly 27.5/26.5 put spread for about 34 cents, or $34 per options spread.

Bottom line: Gordon sees XLF falling as low as $26.50 by July 6 expiration.

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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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