Bank stocks slipped again Wednesday, as investors anticipate the start of earnings season next week.

The KBW Bank Index fell 1.5%, the third straight day of declines.

"Over the next week or so — barring any major pre-announcements or government developments — it's probably going to be a market that kind of runs in place," said Frank Barkocy, the director of research at Mendon Capital Advisors Corp.

Bank stocks rose in the early morning as the Securities and Exchange Commission began to debate whether to reinstate its uptick rule, but absent further positive news bank stocks retreated.

Bank of America Corp. fell 4.1% as Oppenheimer analysts predicted further write-downs could force the company to raise up to $37 billion more in capital and issue 4.9 billion in shares.

The analysts cut their estimates for B of A, as well as for JPMorgan Chase & Co., which fluctuated most of the day, but closed up 0.7%, and Morgan Stanley, which fell 2.7%.

SVB Financial Group fell 23.4%. The Santa Clara, Calif., company said late Tuesday that it expects to lose between $9 million and $12 million, or between 28 cents and 36 cents a share, in the first quarter. Analysts had estimated the company would earn 23 cents a share.

Other decliners Wednesday included U.S. Bancorp, 0.4%; SunTrust Banks Inc., 8.5%; and Comerica Inc, 8.7%.

The broader markets fluctuated throughout the day, but closed in positive territory. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.61% and the S&P was up 1.18%.

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