Delta's stock paces S&P 500 gainers and lifts airline peers, helps keeps Dow transports positive

Shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. DAL, +3.02% shot up 7.1% to a 3 1/2-month high, enough to pace all gainers in both the Dow Jones Transportation Average DJT, +0.16% and the S&P 500 SPX, +0.21% after the air carrier raised its first-quarter guidance and announced an extension of its credit card pact with American Express Co. AXP, -0.40% The company raised its EPS outlook to 85 cents to 95 cents from 70 cents to 90 cents. Cowen analyst Helane Becker reiterated her outperform rating but bumped up her stock price target to $67 from $62. Delta’s stock was headed for the biggest gain since Jan. 20, 2015. The rally helped boost its peers, as the NYSE Arca Airline Index XAL, +1.33% rallied 1.5%, and the Dow transports’ top six gainers were all of its airline components. The combined price gains of the Dow transports airline components was adding about 54 points to the Dow transports’ price, which was up just 10 points.

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