What happened

Shares of fintech stocks SoFi (SOFI -3.08%), Paypal (PYPL -1.67%), and Silvergate Capital (SI 6.85%) were trading lower on Tuesday, falling 4.8%, 6%, and 5.9%, respectively, as of 3:28 p.m. ET.

There wasn't much in the way of company-specific news today, although SoFi did announce an increase to the interest rate in pays to depositors. More likely, since these fintech stocks are highly sensitive to the broader health of the economy, a slew of negative economic data Tuesday was probably driving their stock prices lower.

So what

On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised its global growth outlook lower, to just 3.2%. That's well below where it was to start the year, and would be a significant deceleration from the 6.1% growth figure posted last year. Moreover, the head of the IMF issued very gloomy commentary along with the revision, citing increased risks to the world economy and the potential for global recession.

Meanwhile, July consumer confidence as measured by Conference Board's index was also released today, with a reading of 95.7, below expectations of 97 and down from 98.4 in June.

Concerns over inflation in essential items are driving discretionary spend lower. On that same topic, last night Walmart (WMT 0.30%) pre-announced a downward revision to its earnings growth this quarter and fiscal year, reflecting weakening consumer demand that has shifted away from higher-margin discretionary goods and more toward lower-margin staples. The pre-announcement is only adding fuel to the barrage of negativity today.

Obviously, when consumers are in a bad mood, it reflects on their financial circumstances, which could affect SoFi customers' ability to repay loans, and could decrease e-commerce purchases that are PayPal's main cash cow. Of note, SoFi raised the interest rate it pays on its checking and savings account to 1.8% today, which is pretty high and could attract a lot of new customers. The question is, if we have a recession, will those new customers be able to pay back loans? And will SoFi's higher interest costs crimp its margins if charge-offs increase? SoFi does go after a higher-earning type of consumer than Walmart, but it is new to the world of finance, having just acquired a banking license earlier this year.

Meanwhile, although Silvergate Capital reported better-than-expected second-quarter numbers last week, it, too, is falling today. That could be because although Silvergate is a unique bank specializing in cryptocurrency clients, it is also a play on higher interest rates, due to its high amount of zero-interest deposits. Although higher long-term rates benefited the company last quarter, a global recession may not only hurt credit quality, but could also lower long-term rates going forward, which could lower the company's currently high net interest margins.

SOFI Year to Date Total Returns (Daily) Chart

SOFI Year to Date Total Returns (Daily) data by YCharts

Now what

It's really hard to buy any financial or fintech stock If one thinks we are going into a global recession; however, it's possible that these stock prices are already reflecting at least a mild recession. After all, these names are down between 40% and 60%, so for those who don't think we are going into a bad recession, they could make for attractive buys.

Yet even if you do think we are going into a recession, these three offer interesting plays on an eventual rebound, so they may be worth studying over the summer.