U.S. bank shares retreat on Jackson Hole jitters
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- U.S. financial stocks fell on Thursday ahead of a much-anticipated speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
"People are unwinding positions ahead of Jackson Hole and the long weekend. They don't want to go away and get caught off guard," said Richard Bove, vice president of equity research at Rochdale Research.
Investors will be listening closely to Bernanke's remarks on Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyo., for clues on whether the Fed will unleash further measures to bolster the economy. But expectations have also been dialed back as data on housing and gross domestic product came in solid this week.
"One of the issues that the market wants to hear is the possibility of additional easing but everyone is reaching the conclusion that the Fed is backing away from QE3," said Nancy Bush, a bank analyst and contributing writer to SNL Financial.
Uncertainties in Europe will also continue to weigh on the market going into September, prompting people to fold their positions, Bush added.
"Volume may be even lighter on Friday and it may not pay to keep the lights on," she said. Read more about the U.S. stock market.
Among the financial stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Bank of Nova Scotia agreed to buy ING Bank of Canada from its Dutch parent