Airlines Celebrate, Send Stock Markets Flying Higher

Investors didn’t waste any time getting into the summer-holiday spirit on Wall Street, as Monday featured a solid gain even in the face of rising uncertainty.

COVID-19 cases have spiked higher in the U.S., and some fear that a failure to contain the outbreak could lead to renewed measures like business closures. Nevertheless, market participants focused on more positive news, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI), S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^SPX), and Nasdaq Composite higher.

Today’s stock market


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Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Among top performers in the market Monday were airline stocks. Even though they’ve been quite sensitive to coronavirus-related news, the optimism that pushed the broader market higher also helped lift their prospects. Moreover, good news from Boeing (NYSE:BA) could be signaling the end of at least one painful chapter for the industry.

How airlines fared

Among major carriers, Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) led the way higher with gains of nearly 10%. American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL) wasn’t far behind with an 8% rise, and United Airlines Holdings (NASDAQ:UAL) and Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) followed suit with gains of 7% and 6% respectively.

Southwest in particular benefited from favorable comments from analysts at Goldman Sachs. The Wall Street giant upgraded its view on Southwest from “sell” all the way to “buy,” and it boosted its price target by $12 per share to $47. Goldman’s view on the industry is mixed, with the analysts now expecting it’ll take until 2023 for a full return to pre-coronavirus conditions for airlines. Yet Southwest has a strong balance sheet, and its emphasis on domestic travel

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