The ongoing scandal of an airplane crash.
The potential loss of a $22 billion order.
Production delays that could cause an earnings miss.
There are a lot of reasons why investors might be selling Boeing (NYSE:BA) stock today. Yes, despite all the negatives, shares of the aerospace giant are up this morning -- up as much as 6% in early trading, and still up a healthy 3.8% as of 11:20 a.m. EST.
A little over a month ago, a Boeing-built 737 MAX8 airliner operated by Indonesia's Lion Air as Flight 610 plunged into the ocean, killing all aboard. Ever since, there have been accusations thrown back and forth, with Boeing hinting it thinks poor maintenance practices may be to blame for the crash and Lion Air pointing the finger at "design changes" and "anti-stall" features built into the plane's Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).
This morning, Lion Air co-founder Rusdi Kirana threatened to cancel the remainder of his company's $22 billion, 190-airplane order from Boeing if it doesn't accept responsibility for the crash and take measures to improve its plane design to ensure there is no repeat of the disaster.
At the same time, a report out of investment bank R.W. Baird raises another potential risk for Boeing shareholders: Airplane deliveries didn't accelerate as much as anticipated in November, and Boeing will need to build and deliver planes at a record pace in December if it hopes to hit guidance for 2018 deliveries.
Despite all this, news that U.S. President Trump and China President Xi Jinping have called a 90-day truce in their trade war and are working to resolve disagreements that could roll back a tide of tit-for-tat tariffs imposed on each other's goods has investors thinking: This could be good news for a company that sells multimillion-dollar airplanes in the Chinese market.
Will the truce hold? Will investors' enthusiasm for owning Boeing stock hold? That probably depends on whether the U.S. and China can work out a trade deal before March 1, 2019. The closer we get to that date without a deal being reached, the more Boeing stock is likely to get dinged by less hopeful news.