Boeing Dominates DJIA as Best Performer in 2017

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Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) stock trickled down a few pennies a share last week to close Friday essentially flat week over week. The stock’s year-to-date share price gain reached 51.52%, solidifying Boeing’s hold as the best performing stock among the 30 stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average index.

All but eight Dow stocks have posted year-to-date gains with the best — other than Boeing — being Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), up 38.02%; Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), up 32.47%; McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD), up 30.48%; and Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) is up 24.38%. Last week’s moves fell in a range of up about 0.7% for McDonald’s to up 1.5% for Apple.

On Friday Boeing announced that it had firmed up an order for 10 787 MAX 8s from Japan Investment Adviser, an aircraft lessor. The deal is valued at $1.2 billion at list prices and completes a commitment that Boeing received at June’s Paris Air Show.

Also last week, the U.S. Air Force on Monday awarded a contract valued at $349 million to Boeing and another valued at $329 million to Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) to begin work ultimately to replace the country’s Minuteman III nuclear missile force. Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) was a third bidder for the work, but its bid was rejected.

The Air Force contracts call for the companies to “conduct technology maturation and risk reduction to deliver a low technical risk, affordable total system replacement of Minuteman III to meet intercontinental ballistic missiles operational requirements.”

Affordable is in the eye of the beholder. According to a report from the Congressional Budget Office released last February, the federal government will spend $400 billion on nuclear weapons between 2017 and 2026. A review by the Arms Control Association, a nonpartisan, nonprofit nuclear weapons watchdog, the total 30-year cost of the program could rise to $1.5 trillion.

Boeing stock closed at $235.89 on Friday, down about 1.2% for the day, in a 52-week range of $126.31 to $246.49. The 12-month consensus price target is $252.20 and the highest target is set at $302.00.