Delta Air, United stocks surge to 5-month highs, American Airlines shares trade up nearly 17%
Shares of airline companies blasted off Monday, after upbeat news on a potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE gave investors hope for a quick recovery in business and leisure travel.
The U.S. Global Jets exchange-traded fund (JETS) shot up 16.6% in afternoon trading, to the highest prices seen in five months.
The air carrier rally comes amid a big surge in the broader stock market, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring nearly 1,209 points, or 4.3%, and the S&P 500 index up 2.6%. See Market Snapshot ().
American Airlines Group Inc.'s (AAL) stock was by far the most active among the air carrier group. The stock soared 16.5% in afternoon trading, to pare earlier gains of as much as 25.7%. Trading volume bulged to 210.9 million shares, compared with the full-day average of about 58.3 million shares.
Among other more-active air carrier shares, United Airlines Holdings Inc. (UAL) ran up 19.9% and Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) powered up 17.6%, with both stocks headed for the highest closes since June.
Spirit Airlines Inc.'s stock (SAVE) was also headed toward a five-month high, as it rallied 21.5%.
Elsewhere, shares of Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) climbed 11.4%, JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU) led the sector's gainers by rallying 22.9%, Alaska Air Group Inc. (ALK) hiked up 20.4% and Mesa Air Group Inc. (MESA) advanced 11.7%.
Earlier, Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) said their COVID-19 vaccine candidate BNT162b2 achieved "success" () in the first interim analysis from a Phase 3 study, as it was found 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in trial participants without previous evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Airlines had been among the hardest hit sectors by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although travel has steadily increased since April, a recent surge in new cases () has led to new lockdowns in Europe and raised fears of similar moves in the U.S.
"A coronavirus vaccine is the positive catalyst we were looking for to really kick start an aerospace recovery, and while some of the moves today might fade with profit taking, we think this news is fundamentally a step in the right direction," analyst Robert Stallard at Vertical Research Partners wrote in a note to clients.
The Jets ETF has gained 24.3% over the past three months, but was still down 34.3% year to date. In comparison, the S&P 500 has tacked on 7.4% the past three months and has advanced 11.4% this year.
-Tomi Kilgore; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 09, 2020 15:28 ET (20:28 GMT)
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