The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) has gained 77 points, or 0.45%, as of 2:30 p.m. EDT as investors digest the Federal Reserve's "Beige Book" data. The "Beige Book" showed that the U.S. economy continued to expand in recent weeks, and most of the 12 districts were optimistic about the outlook for growth. The Fed also noted that overall consumer spending increased in every district and vehicle sales again remained stronger than non-auto retail sales. Slowly but surely, the U.S. economy continues to gain momentum as earnings season kicks into high gear.
With that in mind, here are some industrial companies making major headlines in the markets today.
Inside the Dow, the Boeing Company (NYSE: BA ) continues to receive commitments for its commercial aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow in the United Kingdom. Today Boeing announced a commitment from Hainan Airlines for 50 737 MAX 8s, which would keep Boeing as the Chinese airline's sole single-aisle fleet-supplier. The commitment for 50 737 MAX 8s is valued at $5.1 billion at current list prices and will be posted on Boeing's orders and deliveries as the terms of the deal are finalized.
Boeing's commitment from Hainan Airlines follows yesterday's commitments from Intrepid Aviation, Air Lease Corporation, and CIT Aerospace, which totaled $8.3 billion in aircraft orders at current list prices.
More orders are expected to file in this week at the Farnborough airshow, and Boeing investors would be wise to keep an eye on the orders rival Airbus brings in to better determine sales momentum in the important single-aisle commercial aircraft segment.
Outside the Dow, CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX ) reported its second-quarter results after the market closed yesterday and held its conference call this morning to present its information to investors. The biggest question for investors was whether CSX was able to rebound from lower shipment volume and increased labor costs owing to the harsh winter weather in this year's first quarter.
Q2 results indeed showed a substantial pickup in volume. Car load volumes were up 14% compared to the first quarter, which helped drive revenue 7% higher to $3.2 billion. CSX's profit reached $529 million, or $0.53 per share, which slightly topped analysts' earnings estimates of $0.52 per share.
Unfortunately, while the surge in volume helped drive revenue and earnings, it also brought additional problems for CSX. The company's network performance was adversely affected as its on-time arrivals dropped from 82% during last year's second quarter to 42% last quarter. Also, the amount of hours carloads dwelled in terminals rose from 21.9 to 25.9 in the second quarter, compared to last year.
CSX's network performance was slightly disappointing, but it should smooth out in the third quarter, as the company will be better prepared to handle rebounding car load volume. Overall, it was a strong quarter for CSX, and management confirmed that margins will expand and earnings will resume double-digit growth next year.
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