Continental, Delta, US Airways and other majors receive temporary updraft. US airline shares


Someone is making and losing lots of money on the wild airline swings on the US stock exchange. On Tuesday, the lurch was to the left, as major airlines like Delta lost up to 20% of value. Wednesday saw several making substantial gains. Continental Airlines moved up 12.7%, Delta recovered half of the previous day's losses and US Airways (8.8%), American (7.0%) and United (6.2%) all gained Air Tran, despite announcing a rare loss, also added 6.6%.

The schizophrenia surrounding airline stocks at present appears to be encouraging speculators - while low fuel cost should be helping the bottom line, concerns about sliding demand are unsettling serious investors. The Wall St Casino is accordingly ringing all the bells and flashing all the lights for airlines at present.

North America selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 28-Jan-09

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