Banking stocks fell Wednesday after spiking briefly on the news that the Federal Reserve would maintain its favorable interbank lending rate.
The KBW Bank Index dropped 2.12%.
Matthew Shields, a trader with Fig Partners LLC, said investors may have sold their positions late in the day to take advantage of gains earlier in the week.
"We had a positive bounce after the Fed comments," he said. "From there people just took profits … I'm not sure there was anything specific that led to the sell-off."
Shields said some investors may be sitting on the sidelines as they wait to buy into banks through the flurry of capital raises that have been hitting the market lately.
The broader markets also fell in afternoon trading after surging in the wake of the Fed voting to hold the target federal-funds interbank rate at a range of zero to 0.25%.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.83%, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1.01%.
The largest banks ended the day down.
Wells Fargo & Co. fell 1.87%, JPMorgan Chase & Co. 3.03%, Bank of America Corp. 0.62%, and Citigroup Inc. fell 13 cents, closing at $4.52 a share.
In regional banking, the decliners included PNC Financial Services Group Inc., which fell 1.81%, U.S. Bancorp, 1.21%, BB&T Corp., 2.38%, Northern Trust Corp., 0.32%, and SunTrust Banks Inc., 1.06%.