Airline stocks fell Tuesday as the broader market paused after big rallies in recent days.
The Amex Airlines Index dropped 1 percent, with 11 of its 13 components lower in midday trading.
An analyst for UBS said revenue trends for the largest airlines appear to be improving, with December looking better than November.
UBS analyst Kevin Crissey said fourth-quarter revenue for the largest airlines, the so-called legacy carriers, may be better than expected. He said revenue divided by capacity for November was likely to be slightly worse than a year ago, but that December was looking better.
The Dow Jones industrial average didn't offer any encouragement to airline investors. After 200-point rallies in two of the three previous trading days, the Dow fell 9.37, or 0.1 percent, to 10,217.57 at midday. Two out of three stocks fell.
Airlines didn't even get help from a modest dip in oil prices _ down 11 cents to $79.32 a barrel at midday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In midday trading, shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. fell 15 cents to $7.74; American Airlines parent AMR Corp. dropped 24 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $5.54; and United parent UAL Corp. shares lost 18 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $6.82.
Southwest Airlines Co. lost 27 cents, or 3 percent, to $8.79; Continental Airlines Inc. fell 34 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $12.73; US Airways Group Inc. lost 16 cents, or 5 percent, to $3.04; and JetBlue Airways Corp. dipped 9 cents to $5.11.