This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: Jan. 18

5. Boeing's Bad Dream

Just when Boeing's (BA) brass finally thought they could sleep at night, the company's recurring Dreamliner nightmare once again turns the heavenly skies into their own version of Elm Street.

Heck, even Freddy Krueger must be tired of Boeing's media bloodbath by now -- and he haunted kids' dreams in nine movies!

Regulators around the globe grounded the Dreamliner for safety checks Wednesday after one of All Nippon Airways (ALNPY) fleet was forced to make an emergency landing. This problem in this latest case was a cockpit message showing battery problems along with a burning smell that was detected in the cabin.

Forget the unpleasant odor of airline food -- sniffing a burning battery 35,000 feet above Tokyo must really turn your stomach.

The grounding comes only two days after Japan's transport ministry announced its plan to investigate two fuel leaks that popped up on a Dreamliner in Boston owned by Japan Airlines. For the record, the Dreamliner is not just big in Japan, but huge, with Japanese airlines accounting for nearly half of the 50 planes currently in service.

Prior to this latest move, Japanese regulators, along with their counterparts at the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, seemed dead-set on keeping the $207 million plane in the air as they studied its nagging problems. For example, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood sounded more like a cheerleader than a regulator last Friday when he told reporters he had "absolutely no reservations about boarding one of these planes and taking a flight."

Sorry, Ray, but that type of tough talk is not going to fly anymore. With safety concerns being splattered all over the headlines, old Freddy himself would lose sleep before boarding a Dreamliner at this point.

The steadfast reassurance by government officials like LaHood also kept Boeing's shares flat in the past few weeks, when by all rights they should have been nose-diving on the steady stream of bad news. That's changed as well. Goldman Sachs acknowledged the crisis of confidence Wednesday by yanking Boeing from its conviction-buy list and cutting its price target on the company to $90 from $98 a share. Boeing stock fell almost 4% on the day.

Responding to the FAA decision, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said in a statement: "The company is working around the clock with its customers and the various regulatory and investigative authorities. ... We are confident the 787 is safe and we stand behind its overall integrity."

Thanks, Jim, but standing behind it is not the problem. Flying inside it is.

Meanwhile, even as Boeing is suffering a death by a thousand tiny cuts from its Dreamliner woes, the company will soon be featured in another slasher movie. Almost 40% of Boeing's sales come from its defense business, which could be hard hit if the upcoming debt-ceiling battle turns bloody.

If that's the case, then this latest Dreamliner horror show may turn out to be merely a sideshow.

1 of 5

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,098.45 +18.88 0.11%
S&P 500 2,003.37 +6.63 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,580.2710 +22.5760 0.50%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs