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How Airline Stocks Have Fared This Year

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Bumpy ride

Airline stocks have had a rough ride this year so far, with most underperforming the broader market. The US Global Jets ETF (JETS), which invests in passenger airlines, has risen just 8.5% year-to-date, underperforming the Dow Jones, NASDAQ, and S&P 500, which have gained 11.3%, 20%, and 15%, respectively.

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Among major US air carrier stocks, Spirit Airlines (SAVE) has been the weakest this year, falling ~13%. Alaska Air Group (ALK), United Airlines (UAL), and American Airlines have gained a mere 0.6%, 2.6%, and 6.8%, respectively. Meanwhile, Delta Airlines (DAL) and Southwest Airlines (LUV) have outpaced the Dow Jones, gaining 14.2% and 13%, respectively.

As we’ve discussed, multiple factors have been behind airline stocks’ bumpy ride this year. Concerns over a possible global slowdown and US-China trade negotiations have kept markets volatile, and most airlines experienced business disruptions due to severe winter conditions, the partial government shutdown in January, and the grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX planes.

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