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How Are Airline Stocks Reacting in 2017?

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Stock performance in 2017

Most airline stocks have continued their gaining streak in 2017. For January 2017, Alaska Air (ALK) has seen the highest gain of 7.2%, followed by Southwest Airlines (LUV), which has gained 5.7%. Allegiant Travels (ALGT) has gained 3.7% and United Continental (UAL) has gained 2.1%. Delta Air Lines (DAL) has also gained 1% for the month, and American Airlines (AAL) has gained 0.56%. On the other hand, JetBlue Airways (JBLU) has lost ~12.4%, followed by Spirit Airlines (SAVE), which lost 6.2% in the same period.

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The S&P 500 SPDR ETF (SPY), which closely tracks the index, has gained 2.4% so far in January. Since air travel is a discretionary expense, it also makes sense to compare airlines’ performance to the consumer discretionary sector, which is tracked by the Consumer Discretionary SPDR ETF (XLY). The consumer discretionary sector has also has gained almost 4.5% during the period.

2016 performance

For 2016, Delta Air Lines (DAL) has lost ~5.9%, followed by Allegiant Travel (ALGT), which has lost 4%, and JetBlue, which has lost 3.9%. Other airline stocks have gained in the same period. Spirit Airlines (SAVE) has seen the highest gain of 33.5%, followed by United Continental (UAL), which has gained 21.9%, and Southwest Airlines (LUV), which has gained 13.5%. Alaska Air stock has gained ~10%, and American Airlines (AAL) is also in the green with a ~6.6% gain in the same period.

The broader market, tracked by the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), rose by about 8.7% in 2016. The Consumer Discretionary SPDR ETF (XLY) also gained 3.7% in the same period.

Next, we look at key upcoming events for the airline industry.

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