The KBW Bank Index fell 0.44% Tuesday after analyst Meredith Whitney downgraded Goldman Sachs Group Inc., from "buy" to "neutral," due to the run-up in the New York investment company's stock price this summer after it reported second-quarter earnings.
Goldman fell 1.5%. It is slated to report third-quarter earnings on Thursday.
For three weeks, sell-side analysts have been slowly backing away from their bullishness on the financial industry, said Randy Cass, the founder and vice chairman of First Coverage, a Boston firm that specializes in using sell-side research to track investor attitudes.
"Financials have been on such a tear that maybe sell-side analysts are getting a little more cautious about having capital exposed to that industry," Cass said.
JPMorgan Chase & Co., fell 0.9%; Bank of America Corp., 1.2%; Wells Fargo & Co., 0.7%; PNC Financial Services Group Inc., 0.2%, and U.S. Bancorp, 0.7%.
Among the regional banking companies, SunTrust Banks Inc. fell 2.2%; Capital One Financial Corp., 0.3%; M&T Bank Corp., 0.5%; Comerica Inc., 0.5%; Fifth Third Bancorp, 0.3%; and Regions Financial Corp., 0.7%.
Gainers included KeyCorp, up 1.9%; Marshall & Ilsley Corp., 0.4%; Zions Bancorp., 6%, and Citigroup Inc., 6 cents a share, to $4.83.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.15%, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index, 0.28%.