The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is barely above breakeven in today's trading session as of 3 p.m. EDT. Although the Dow has been hovering around record highs, the CBOE Volatility Index -- or the "fear index," as it's commonly called -- declined on Friday to its lowest level since early in 2007. The index is currently sitting at roughly half its historical level, which suggests investors aren't worried about the market rally stalling out just yet. With that in mind, here are some companies making headlines on the first trading day of the week.
The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) recently announced its net orders through June 3, 2014. The company received 394 orders of commercial airplanes, 385 of which were for 737s. Boeing's total net orders through the first five months of the year surpassed those of its rival Airbus, which totaled 203 net orders through the end of May.
Boeing is currently ramping up production of its airplanes to help cash in on the company's massive $440 billion backlog -- a figure that is nearly five times Boeing's estimated 2014 sales. Production of Boeing's 737 has consistently increased over the years. Early last year Boeing increased its production of the 737 from 35 to 38 airplanes per month. In April of 2014 the company again bumped that production figure up to 42 airplanes per month and announced its plan to drive that rate to 47 airplanes per month by 2017. Investors would be wise to watch Boeing's execution of the production acceleration, as it will be vital to maintaining strong operating margins and revenue growth.
In other manufacturing news, General Motors (NYSE:GM) announced it sold a May record of 276,109 vehicles in China, including its joint ventures, which was a 9.2% gain over the same month last year. General Motors' performance in China last month brings its year-to-date total to more than 1.5 million vehicles sold in China through May -- a 10.7% gain over the same time span last year.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), which entered China's automotive market years after General Motors, announced that its sales in China reached 93,323 in May, which was a 32% year-over-year gain.
Through the first five months of the year, Ford's sales in China are up a whopping 39% compared to last year. While Ford still largely trails its crosstown rival in China, the company is making up ground and is quickly driving sales higher with new model launches.
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Daniel Miller owns shares of Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. 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.