Sector Snap: Airline shares get a lift

AP News
Posted: Dec 16, 2009 5:50 PM

Airline shares lifted higher Wednesday even though oil prices rose sharply and the broader stock market was mixed.

Delta Air Lines Inc. rose 70 cents, or 6.4 percent, to $11.65, while shares of American Airlines parent AMR Corp. rose 27 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $7.86, and United Airlines parent UAL Corp. rose 21 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $11.26.

Shares of Continental Airlines Inc. inched up 6 cents to $17.67, while shares of US Airways Group Inc. rose 25 cents, or 5.5 percent, to $4.78.

Southwest Airlines Co. shares rose 45 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $11.20, while JetBlue Airways Corp. gained 2 cents to $5.72 and AirTran Airways parent AirTran Holdings Inc. added 8 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $5.27.

The Amex Airline index rose 3.2 percent.

Meanwhile, benchmark crude for January delivery surged by $1.97, nearly 3 percent, to settle at $72.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for January delivery added $1.50 to settle at $73.55 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

On Wall Street, according to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 10.88, or 0.1 percent, to 10,441.12. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1.25, or 0.1 percent, 1,109.18. It is up 22.8 percent for the year. The Nasdaq composite index rose 5.86, or 0.3 percent, to 2,206.91.