NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Nothing could save airline shares Tuesday from the perceptions that capacity is growing too fast and major carriers will match fares to compete.
Brent crude oil futures rose 3%, which should have benefited airline shares, even though "West Cost jet fuel spiked in May due to outages at some refiners," according to Cowen & Co. analyst Helane Becker. The S&P 500 fell 1%. Declines at major carriers ranged between a 1.5% decline for Virgin America (VA) shares and a 6% decline for Hawaiian (HA) shares.
Since May 18, airline shares have fallen a cumulative 9%, with American (AAL) down 15%, Southwest (LUV) down 14% and Delta (DAL) down 11%.
Nevertheless. Delta and Spirit (SAVE), two airlines that are in the middle of Wall Street's increasingly unfavorable view of the industry, both announced capacity increases on Tuesday.
Delta said it will continue to grow at Seattle Tacoma International Airport, where capacity has already grown 13% in the first four months of the year. Delta's Sea-Tac capacity has grown 44% during the period.
Among the big three global carriers, Delta is the only one that has sat in Wall Street's doghouse, primarily because it has been growing in Seattle, as it seeks to build a trans-Pacific hub that would compete with Alaska's (ALK) hub, which is primarily domestic.