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US Airways and United hit hard on Wall Street lottery. Westjet continues strong performance

US shares closed on a low yesterday, as a series of warnings from US companies prompted investors to lock in gains from two previous days of strong rallies.

Uncertainty about a multi-billion dollar rescue plan for US automakers also dampened market sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 242.85 points (-2.7%) to close at 8691.33, the Nasdaq fell 24.40 points (-0.17%) and the Standard & Poor's 500 lost 21.03 points (-2.31%) to 888.67

Fickle investors knocked nearly one seventh of the value of US Airways (-13.6%) and United Airlines (-13.1%) on the day, as the general market soured.

Other US airlines fared not very well either, with AirTran (7.8%), Southwest (-7.3%), Continental (-7.1%) also lost over 7% of value. Southwest is now clearly off the list of positive-sentiment airline stocks.

But Canada's Westjet has stayed a favourite and even gained an updraft from the new EU-Canada bilateral agreement.

North America selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 09-Dec-08