Airline Stocks Rally After Qatar Airways Discloses Interest In Buying American Airlines Stake

By Tomi KilgoreMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Shares of airline companies rallied in premarket trade Thursday, after Qatar Airways expressed interest in buying a large stake in American Airline Group Inc. . American said Qatar had interest in buying 10% of its common stock outstanding. Based on American's market capitalization as of Wednesday's close, a 10% stake would be worth about $2.39 billion. American's stock ran up 5.3% in premarket trade. Among other air carriers, shares of United Continental Holdings Inc. rose 1.3%, Delta Air Lines Inc. climbed 1.4%, Southwest Airlines Co. gained 1.9%, JetBlue Airways Corp. advanced 1.2% and Alaska Air Group Inc. tacked on 1.1%. The NYSE Arca Airline Index has gained 3.8% year to date, to close Wednesday 2.5% below the near 16-year high hit on June 7. The S&P 500 has gained 8.8% year to date.

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