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Alaska Air Group ( ALK) pushed the Transportation industry higher today making it today's featured transportation winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.9%. By the end of trading, Alaska Air Group rose $1.21 (1.6%) to $79.45 on average volume. Throughout the day, 1,026,371 shares of Alaska Air Group exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 796,100 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $76.94-$80.50 after having opened the day at $76.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $78.24. Other companies within the Transportation industry that increased today were: Newlead Holdings ( NEWL), up 31.6%, ModusLink Global Solutions ( MLNK), up 5.6%, Copa Holdings ( CPA), up 5.5% and China Metro-Rural Holdings ( CNR), up 5.4%.

Alaska Air Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo. Alaska Air Group has a market cap of $5.4 billion and is part of the services sector. Shares are up 6.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Alaska Air Group a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alaska Air Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, notable return on equity and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the negative front, Sino-Global Shipping America ( SINO), down 4.5%, Providence & Worcester Railroad Company ( PWX), down 4.3%, Kansas City Southern ( KSU), down 2.4% and Arkansas Best Corporation ( ABFS), down 1.8% , were all laggards within the transportation industry with Norfolk Southern Corporation ( NSC) being today's transportation industry laggard.

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).

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