Financials are riding a seven-session win streak Thursday, which would mark the longest string of gains for the sector in about 15 months. The S&P 500's financial sector was up about 1% on the day, helping to lead the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average to finish at records. The seven straight days of gains for the financial sector would mark its longest win streak since a seven-session period ended April 16, 2015, according to FactSet data. Thursday's advance was sparked by better-than-expected second-quarter results from J.P. Morgan Chase , which is viewed as a bellwether for the financial sector and the U.S. economy. J.P. Morgan's results help kick off earnings season, and suggest that quarterly performance for financials may be better than feared. Gains in the sector were also being led by a more than 4% rise in shares of Lincoln National Corp. and insurer MetLife Inc. . Despite the multisession rise, financials are still the only S&P 500 sector in negative territory so far this year, down 1.3%. Expectations of lower rates for longer has been a drag on bank profitability. Meanwhile, the formerly battered energy sector is the third best sector in the S&P 500 this year, up 16%, behind defensive sector telecommunications and utilities.
Continue Reading Below
Copyright © 2016 MarketWatch, Inc.