It might be time to fade airline stocks.
Although US travel on the July 4th holiday weekend topped 2019 levels based on TSA screenings, the group’s tech facility is showing warning signs, Piper Sandler’s Craig Johnson told CNBC’s Trading Nation on Friday.
A chart by the US Global Jets ETF (JETS) shows the airline’s basket of stocks falling below an upward support line and its 50-day moving average, both worrying signs for Johnson, his company’s senior technical research analyst.
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The fact that 2021 saw the most recalcitrant passenger incidents in 25 years and is only halfway through doesn’t bode well for airlines either, Johnson said.
“In my view, easy money has been made with this recovery trade,” he said. “I think now is the time to get some money out of JETS.”
The only airline stock that could have fuel left is Southwest Airlines, said Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management, in the same “Trading Nation” interview.
“They are the low-cost market leader in the industry. They have the best record and in the long term I think they create a very, very strong brand,” said Schlossberg. “Yes, they are struggling with cancellations. Yes, they are late. But they stand up and try to fulfill their capacities, unlike Delta and United.”
Delta and United Airlines did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Schlossberg expected Southwest to take market share from its competitors as consumer traffic recovers as it relies more on it than on business travel.
“For me, this is the only trade in JETS that I would be long on and stay for the next 18-24 months,” he said.
Southwest stock ended Friday less than half a 1% decline at $ 53.66. JETS finished trading in half, down 1% to $ 24.50.
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