Airline Stocks Claw Back Losses Amid Trump Stimulus Whiplash

Topline

Shares of major U.S. airlines erased some losses in premarket trading Wednesday morning after President Trump late Tuesday signaled his support for another $25 billion in payroll support for the airline industry just hours after publicly ending negotiations in Washington over the next federal coronavirus relief bill. 

Key Facts

United Airlines gained 4.6% in premarket trading after closing 3.6% lower on Tuesday when Trump abruptly ended talks. 

American rose 4% early Wednesday, while Southwest gained 2% and Delta climbed 3%. 

Shares of JetBlue soared 6%.

United and American began furloughing more than 30,000 employees last week after a $25 billion federal support program set up under the CARES Act ran out on October 1. 

Big Number

$5 billion. That’s how much cash U.S. airlines are now losing per month, according to Reuters, after the coronavirus obliterated passenger demand. 

Crucial Quote

“On behalf of America’s travel workers, we are disheartened in the extreme that Congress and the administration failed to reach agreement on the relief this industry so desperately needed, despite clear evidence of mounting harm,” the U.S. Travel Association said in a statement after Trump first ended stimulus negotiations. 

Key Background 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been opposed to passing multiple Covid-19 relief bills throughout months of fraught negotiations with the White House, but she said last week that she would make an exception for a standalone aid bill for the airline industry if a comprehensive Covid-19 relief plan was not possible. When a standalone airline bill was brought to the House floor on Friday for a vote, however, Republicans blocked it. 

Further Reading

Stocks Dive After President Trump Shatters Stimulus Hope (Forbes)

Trump Urges Congress To Pass $1,200 Stimulus Checks, Paycheck Protection Funds After Ending Talks (Forbes)

Airlines Could See More Relief Ahead Of Stimulus Deal, Pelosi Says (Forbes)

Trump Torpedoes Stimulus Negotiations And These Six Benefits Are Off The Table (For Now) (Forbes)

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