Financial stocks fell slightly, along with the overall markets Tuesday, although some large lenders enjoyed a bounce after delivering positive commentary at a high-profile banking conference.
The KBW Bank Index fell 0.5%, to 43.50, as investors sold stocks amid a rising dollar and weak global market activity.
"The slide is mostly due to the risk-aversion factor that is coming into play as the dollar continues to rally," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist with Avalon Partners.
"Everything was pretty [down] much right across the board."
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1% and the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1.03%.
Though most of the names on the 24-bank KBW index had a down day, PNC Financial Services Group Inc., Zions Bancorp. and Regions Financial Corp. rose after their top executives spoke at a banking conference in New York.
James Rohr, the chief executive of PNC, said his Pittsburgh company expects to earn more than $2 billion in 2009 and aims to repay its federal aid in 2010. PNC's shares rose 2.83%.
Zions' shares rose 3.62% after the Salt Lake City company's CEO, Harris H. Simmons, said residential construction problems were stabilizing and could improve next year.
Regions Financial CEO Dowd Ritter said the Birmingham, Ala., lender has had success shedding troubled assets and shrinking its problem commercial real estate portfolio. Its shares rose 0.89%.
A banking company that did not speak at the conference, M&T Bank Corp. of Buffalo rose 3.79% after it was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" by an analyst with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc.
Most other banking companies ended the day flat or down.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. fell 0.10%; Bank of America Corp., 3.02%; Wells Fargo & Co., 1.25%; SunTrust Banks Inc., 0.53%; and U.S. Bancorp, 0.22%.
BB&T Corp. was unchanged, while Citigroup Inc. fell 12 cents, to $3.91.