Airline Shares Fly Higher on Some Positive Coronavirus Signs

Airline stocks are higher amid some positive signs within the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Italy's death rate posted its smallest rise in almost three weeks, and New York State's hospitalization numbers are easing.
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Airline shares rose Tuesday, outperforming the broad market, amid signs that the coronavirus scourge is easing a bit in Europe and the U.S., raising hopes that travel restrictions will be lifted earlier than expected.

All three of the big legacy carriers - American Airlines  (AAL) - Get Report, United Airlines  (UAL) - Get Report and Delta  (DAL) - Get Report - saw their stocks climb more than 4%. 

Southwest Airlines  (LUV) - Get Report and JetBlue  (JBLU) - Get Report shares also garnered gains.

On Sunday in Italy, the epicenter for the coronavirus in Europe, the death count rose 525 from Saturday, the smallest daily increase since March 19, Reuters reported. The increase was 681 Saturday and 766 Friday.

In New York State, the U.S. epicenter, 731 people had died since Monday as of early Tuesday, a new high, said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), according to The New York Times.

But he noted that deaths are a lagging indicator. Other data points are more encouraging. The three-day average number of those hospitalized is down. And the number of patients on ventilators climbed at the smallest one-day rate in weeks, 2% since Monday.

Meanwhile, the airline industry is set to receive a $50 billion bailout from the $2 trillion fiscal stimulus package the government passed last month. To be sure, some analysts say the airlines will ultimately need more.

At last check:

American Airlines recently traded at $10.50, up 11%;

Delta was at $22.87, up 2.5%;

United traded at $25.15, up 4.7%;

Southwest Air shares were $33.61, up 9.5%;

'JetBlue changed hands at $8.88, up 15%, and,

The S&P 500 index was up 1.58%.