Historical Stock Chart
1 Month : From Jun 2019 to Jul 2019
By Akane Otani
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is within striking distance of a record, thanks to a stock that had been one of its biggest laggards earlier this year: Boeing Co.
After rallying to start the week, the blue-chip average is 1.2% away from topping its October closing high, set aloft by shares of the jet maker.
Boeing shares tumbled in May as investors weighed further scrutiny over the safety of the company's 737 MAX, but they have unexpectedly risen 6.2% this week. That puts Boeing on track for its biggest one-week gain since February and makes it by far the biggest contributor to the Dow industrials' gains this week.
What is behind Boeing's comeback? Much of the gains came Tuesday after British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group SA said it had signed a letter expressing its intent to buy as many as 200 Boeing 737 MAX planes. That marked the first such deal for Boeing since its 737 MAX was grounded following fatal crashes in October and March.
Boeing has also gotten a vote of confidence from other airline operators, albeit for its other planes. Qatar Airways said Wednesday it had signed an order to purchase five 777 freighters worth $1.8 billion from Boeing, while China Airlines said it intended to order as many as six of the freighters in an effort to modernize its fleet.
Of course, the danger of an index rally driven heavily by one stock is that it can just as easily reverse course. Boeing continues to face fallout over its 737 MAX planes. Efforts to get them back into the air have been delayed in part because officials are weighing whether the average pilot is physically strong enough to turn a manual crank that would help change the angle of the plane's nose in emergencies, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The company's shares also fell Wednesday after American Airlines announced a new order for rival plane maker Airbus's A321XLR.
Some passengers remain skittish, too. One in four U.S. fliers say they would try to avoid flying on a 737 MAX, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
Yet for now, investors are betting the stock will keep ascending.
Write to Akane Otani at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 19, 2019 17:13 ET (21:13 GMT)
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