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“You can’t have a mid-life crisis in the airline industry because every day is a crisis.” – Herb Kelleher
We hope you enjoyed your weekend because while the economic calendar is relatively light this week, the flow of earnings will pick up in pace as earnings season kicks into high gear. Today, however, is on the quiet side with Homebuilder sentiment the only report scheduled and just a handful of companies reporting earnings.
Be sure to check out today’s Morning Lineup for a rundown of the latest stock-specific news of note, market performance in the US and Europe, key earnings data from the US and Europe, Chinese economic data released over the weekend, trends related to the COVID-19 outbreak, and much more.
The airline industry may always be in crisis but yesterday marked a big milestone for the industry as US total passenger throughput crossed back above the one million level for the first time since March 16th.
Yesterday’s increase in passenger traffic wasn’t just a one-day blip either. On a seven-day average basis, daily passenger traffic has also been steadily rising. Ten days ago, the seven-day average jumped back above the prior post-COVID high of ~780K from early September. Since then, we have seen a steady increase to the current level of ~872K which is nearly 100K above the prior high.
While airline passenger traffic has seen a steady increase off its lows, why aren’t the airline stocks doing better? The reason is that while passenger traffic has been steadily rising, we still have a LONG way to go before things get anywhere near back to normal. The chart below compares the performance of the airline ETF (JETS) to the y/y change in passenger traffic on a seven-day average basis (blue line). The trend is higher but still down by a lot. Yesterday’s million total, for example, was still down over 60% from the same day last year.