Delta, US Airways, Continental, JetBlue stocks all up more than 7% as job ads (and oil prices) rise.

Delta (+10.7%) rose on a helpful Stifel Nicolaus analyst upgrade, US Airways (+14.3%) outshone and Continental (+7.8%) and JetBlue (+7.3%) each topped 7% rises. United (+6.9%) and American Airlines (+6.3%) were right behind them.

The Wall St Casino paid out handsomely yesterday, as all airline stocks jumped. It just needed the general feel-good and some positive online job ad statistics to help the markets overlook the fact that a few tens of thousands of General Motors staff will soon be applying for them, as the auto maker slides into Chapter 11, and Continental Airlines' yields plunged by 20% last month.

Nor was much attention paid to the new high that oil prices have reached, now nudging USD70 per barrel. These increases will start to drag airlines down if they continue to rise – as a steady flow of good news will guarantee.

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North & South America selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 01-Jun-09

US Airways

US Airways stock ended the day at USD2.95, up 14.3%, after topping USD3 during afternoon trading. It is still priced at about a fifth of its all time highs (with equity dilution in there as well), but has nearly doubled in valuation during the recent market resurgence. US may have been a beneficiary of the online job ad news from the Conference Board, whose latest survey for May-2009 showed that gains were strongest in the Northeast, whose playground US and Delta’s (and JetBlue) is: “New York showed the sharpest increase in May (20,300) and was followed by Massachusetts (10,000) and Pennsylvania (7,900)”.

The Conference Board Reported total online job demand was up 250,000 in May-2009, with “the number of advertised vacancies rising in all four regions of the country (Northeast, South, Midwest and West), reflecting gains in 43 states across the nation. For many states, May marked the first increase following months of steady decline in labor demand."