The Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) on Wednesday broke its four-day winning streak, falling 42 points. Yet the index's decline looked mostly like a pause in a general uptrend, and good news from Boeing (NYSE:BA) points to continued tailwinds in the aerospace sector that could help the aircraft manufacturer and fellow Dow components General Electric (NYSE:GE) and United Technologies (NYSE:UTX).
Boeing rose 0.2% after receiving a major vote of confidence from the Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday. According to Boeing, the FAA approved the 787 Dreamliner for extended operations, allowing the aircraft to fly as far as five and a half hours away from a landing field. Before the FAA move, the Dreamliner's range was limited to three hours from a landing field, which prevented the aircraft's users from flying certain routes that require extended travel either over sea or remote land areas. Authorizing airlines to plot more direct routes between cities opens the door for huge savings and makes the value proposition for Boeing's Dreamliner even more attractive.
General Electric added 0.3%. The conglomerate stands to benefit from the Dreamliner's success, as GE is a supplier of engines and related components for the aircraft. Lately, though, General Electric has focused even more on the growth opportunity in the energy industry, including via its ongoing attempt to buy the energy unit of French electricity and transportation giant Alstom. Nevertheless, General Electric recognizes the value of aerospace to its overall business, and that contribution is only likely to grow as long as Boeing's prospects remain strong.
United Technologies climbed 0.1%. The Dow Jones Industrials member's UTC Aerospace Systems division is an essential supplier of Dreamliner components, although its contribution caused some consternation last summer when faulty fire-prevention systems raised new concerns about the aircraft's reliability. Nevertheless, United Technologies remains dedicated to the aircraft industry, through its own helicopter division and the systems and components its Pratt & Whitney and Goodrich operations produce. Added to its nonaerospace divisions, United Technologies offers true diversification at a critical time for the industry.
The Dow Jones Industrials rely on a number of different industries, but aerospace is increasingly important to the blue-chip index's growth. Keep an eye on Boeing shares to see if the aerospace giant can sustain the health of the industry and help pull the Dow higher in the long run.
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Dan Caplinger owns shares of General Electric Company. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric Company. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.