In-Flight Turbulence

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It wasn’t but a few days ago that the “Aircraft Type” portion of a flight’s information would be overlooked by most travelers. I mean, who cares what the manufacturer and model number are, right? Well, now that the 737 MAX is all over the news, and is basically assumed to be a suicide mission if you get on board one, everyone’s making damned sure they aren’t getting on a MAX.

The company behind these gravity-prone fuselages is, of course, Boeing, and if you wanted to dazzle someone with just how insanely valued their company is, you could show them the arithmetic chart of its price history.

But we’re not quite so hyperbolic here on Slope, are we? So here’s the defense contractor Boeing since the days of Vietnam bombing up to the days of 737s screeching toward a certain demise. Yesterday’s fall notwithstanding, an incredibly healthy stock.

Looking closer, you can even see on a 10-year chart the carnage that Monday wrought. As I’m writing this, China, Malaysia, Australia, and Singapore have already demanded all 737s be grounded. How about the United States? Oh, the FAA says the 737 is just fine, so climb aboard. Get acquainted with the seat cushion and please review your safety information card. We’ll be taking off shortly.

From my perspective, the price is “trapped” between the two horizontal price gaps I have highlighted below. It could well be that Boeing has already seen its highest price………….ever……….for a variety of reasons, not the least of which that this is pretty bad PR it’s getting.

What would it take to snap the price below this range? That’s easy: one more incident. And if you really want to see the management hauled in front of Congress, have the flight that crashes be a United States-based one. That’s kind of how Congress operates: if hundreds of Ethiopians spent their last few minutes of life screaming in unholy terror at certain death, that’s one thing. If you get some Mericuhn’s in the same situation, it’s a whole different ball game.

Until such an event, though, and let’s hope it never comes, I think the price is caged between the aforementioned horizontal lines.

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