Alaska Air's stock surges to pace Dow transports gainers after analyst upgrade

Shares of Alaska Air Group Inc. ALK, -0.17% rallied 3.6% in afternoon trade Thursday, enough to pace the Dow Jones Transportation Average’s DJT, -0.04% gainers, after the air carrier was upgraded at Imperial Capital, which cited expectations of industry-leading unit revenue growth in 2019. Analyst Michael Derchin raised his rating to outperform from in line. He boosted his stock price target to $95, which is 37% above current levels, from $62. The top five gainers within the Dow transports, which rose 0.4%, were all air carrier stocks. Among them, shares of JetBlue Airways Inc. JBLU, -0.10% climbed 2.3%, American Airlines Group Inc. AAL, -0.41% rose 1.9%, Delta Air Lines Inc. DAL, -0.29% got a 1.3% lift and Southwest Airlines Co. LUV, -0.41% advanced 1.2%. Meanwhile, the NYSE Arca Airline Index XAL, -1.39% rose 1.6%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.07% tacked on 128 points, or 0.5%.

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