Risk is down so financials are up
It's no coincidence that financials led the US stock market up during the past two days
The market’s “fear index,” the implied volatility of options on the S&P index, is at a 16-year low. VIX traded at just 9.75% at midday in New York, the lowest level in sixteen years–despite all the hype about the risks of the British elections, the Comey testimony and the European central bank meeting.
Financials are the sector most exposed to systemic risk, so they tend to trade better when risk is lower. That has certainly been the case during the year to date, as the chart shows.
Of course, other factors influence relative performance of financials. The biggest of these is the shape of the yield curve (financials tend to borrow short and lend long, so the difference between short-term and long-term rates directly impact their revenues). The yield curve steepened a bit this week, giving financials an additional boost.