The transportation industry closed the day up 1.2%. Trailer Bridge Inc ( TRBR), Sino-Global Shipping America ( SINO), FreeSeas Inc ( FREE), and Genco Shipping & Trading ( GNK) were all decliners today within the transportation industry with Southwest Airlines ( LUV) being today's featured transportation loser. Southwest Airlines fell 23 cents (-2.5%) to $8.87 on average volume. Throughout the day, 13.4 million shares of Southwest Airlines exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 12 million shares.

Southwest Airlines Co. operates as a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation in the United States. As of December 31, 2010, the company operated 548 Boeing 737 aircraft and provided service to 69 cities in 35 states. Southwest Airlines has a market cap of $7 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.2, equal to the average transportation industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 29.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southwest Airlines as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

On the positive front, Danaos Corporation ( DAC), Grupo TMM S.A ( TMM), Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc ( EGLE), and Global Ship Lease Inc ( GSL) were all gainers within the transportation industry with United Parcel Service Inc (UPS ( UPS) being today's featured transportation industry winner.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the transportation industry could consider iShares Dow Jones Transportation ( IYT) while those bearish on the transportation industry could consider ProShares UltraShort Industrials ( SIJ).