Boeing Holds on as Top Dow Stock, but Cisco Is Closing In

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Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) shares were rocking along at around $370 on Wednesday before the president’s announcement that he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum. Boeing stock ended the week down about 3.4%, but from its peak Wednesday morning it lost 7%. The stock remains the Dow Jones industrial average’s best performer for the year to date, however, with a gain of 16.9%.

The second-best performer among the Dow 30 so far this year is Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), which is up about 15%. That is followed by Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), up about 8.8%; Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC), up about 6.1%; and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), up about 5.8%. Less than half of the 30 Dow stocks (13) have posted year-to-date gains as of Friday.

The Dow dropped more than 800 points over the course of the last week and closed the week at 24,538.06, a loss of about 3.2%.

The week began for Boeing with reports that it had struck a deal with Brazil’s Embraer S.A. (NYSE: ERJ) to form a joint venture controlled by Boeing to build the Brazilian company’s commercial jets. Boeing had no comment, and neither did Embraer nor the Brazilian government.

And in one of those leak/announcements that also was not confirmed, Boeing was reported to have struck a deal with the president and the U.S. Air Force on the cost of the program to build the next Air Force One. But this is one of those deals that ain’t done ’til the fat lady sings.

It appeared to be another week when Boeing stock would track higher still as analysts remained enthusiastic about the company’s outlook. Then the tariff announcement hit and Boeing, a big user of aluminum, saw its stock get whacked. When the dust settles (if it ever does), the harm to Boeing will not be in its material costs but in retaliatory measures that could put the company at a price disadvantage compared with Airbus and, eventually, China’s Comac.

Boeing’s shares closed down about 1.4% Friday, at $344.67 in a 52-week range of $173.75 to $371.60. The consensus 12-month price target on the stock is $386.78, up more than a dollar in the past week. The low end of the price target range is $289 and the high end is $470.