US airline stocks experienced significant gains on Wednesday, despite record-oil prices (which rose above USD75/barrel for the first time in 2009) and helped by a rally in the broader market that pushed the Dow close above 10,000 for the first time in 12 months. The NYSE Arca Airline Index closed up 4% with all 13 of its components trading up.
Barclays Capital stated it is still "constructive" on the airline sector, as it predicts a multi-year profit cycle. Barclays meanwhile cut JetBlue Airways’ shares, which gained 1.4% yesterday, from ‘overweight’ to ‘equal’ weight.
See related article: AMEX Airline Index soars; American Airlines and Continental up on analyst upgrades
Southwest's shares gained 4.8% yesterday, ahead of the release of its third quarter financial results today (15-Oct-2009). The LCC's shares have surged 43% in 3Q2009, rising from USD6.73 to USD9.60, as investors look for the early signs of a recovery in the airline industry. The shares reached a decade low of USD4.95 in Mar-2009.
Southwest Airlines share price growth: Jan-2009 to Oct-2009