In case you’ve been occupied with feeding the cat, doing Sudoku, or eating a late lunch, the world financial markets are one big mess today.
So much for the power of politicians in Washington to snap their fingers and hope that the rest of the world simply agrees to sit back and let Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson do his “magic.” A couple of problems with that $700 billion gift from the U.S. taxpayers that Congress okayed last week. One, it’s going to take weeks before any of that buy-back of crappy debt even begins. Two, credit markets are frozen NOW. Third, now world markets are starting to unravel.
Which brings us to the big news if you are an airline investor, or someone who simply owns shares of your own airline that you work for.
Not only are world financial markets one big mess today — but airlines stocks are getting hit very hard.
You’d think that with the price of oil now down below $90 today that investors would be snapping up airline shares right and left.
After all — think of the potentially lethal profit cocktail we have going on — sharply lower fuel costs on their way, coupled with sharply reduced capacity. It would seem like the perfect recipe for higher airline stock prices.
Unfortunately that is not how the market is thinking today. Then again, the market is not thinking very clearly about much of anything. This is definitely one of those days when fear rules.
As for the airline sector, the biggest decliners as of this posting include: United, which is down 18% at 6.68, Continental Airlines, down 20% to 12.15, Republic Holdings down 16% to 7.86, AMR, parent of American Airlines, down 18% to 7.65, and US Airways, down 14% to 5.58.