Boeing Remains Dow’s Top Stock

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Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) shows no sign of relinquishing its rank as the best performing stock for the year to date among the 30 equities that comprise the Dow Jones industrial average. Boeing stock ended the week with a share price gain of 6.7% and a year-to-date gain of 20.4%.

The second-best performer among the Dow 30 so far this year is Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), up about 15.4%. That is followed by Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE), up about 9.2%; Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), up about 7.6%; and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), up about 7.2%. Just over half of Dow stocks (17) had posted year-to-date gains as of Friday.

The Dow added 1,028 points over the course of the last week, nearly recovering all the 1,330 points it lost the week before. The index closed the week at 25,219.38, a gain of about 4.1%.

While Boeing had no particularly stunning news last week, there were several items that affected the firm. First, on Wednesday, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) released its redacted report on its ruling that the U.S. aerospace industry and Boeing were not harmed by the sale of Canadian-built 100-seat jets. The ruling was issued in late January, but this document gives the details.

Boeing and the other U.S. defense giants got some good news last week when the president’s budget was released and had a pile of money some $716 billion high for the U.S. Department of Defense. Boeing is one of the country’s five largest defense contractors.

Speaking of defense, Boeing reportedly has filed an expression of interest in remaining in the running for a contract to supply Canada with 88 new fighter jets. The ITC ruling may have given the company another shot at a contract it almost certainly would have lost had it won the trade case.

Finally, CEO Dennis Muilenburg said Thursday that the company is nearing an agreement with Brazil’s Embraer S.A. (NYSE: ERJ) that would give Boeing a controlling stake in Embraer’s commercial jet business and leave the firm’s military business under Brazilian government control.

Boeing’s shares closed down 0.4% Friday, at $355.07 in a 52-week range of $173.68 to $361.45. The consensus 12-month price target on the stock is $385.35, unchanged in the past week. The low end of the price target range is $289 and the high end is $470.