Airline stocks popped Friday, along with shares of one of the airlines' biggest suppliers, Boeing (NYSE: BA).
Boeing stock soared to close the day 5.2% higher after the Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy added 312,000 jobs in December -- 71% better than the increase that experts had forecast.
What do better employment numbers in general have to do with Boeing stock in particular? Honestly, probably not a lot.
Nonetheless, the positive news out of the Labor Department sparked a broad-based rally that sent the Dow up about 3.3%, the S&P 500 up about 3.4%, and the Nasdaq up 4.3% in a single day. Boeing shares, it seems, were simply caught in the updraft. (Not that I expect its shareholders to complain.)
One final factor affecting investors' optimism: Early in the day, The Wall Street Journal published an article saying that thanks to "fading confidence that the U.S. economic expansion will continue," it's now not just likely that the Fed will refrain from raising interest rates in 2019 -- it may actually decide to lower them.
If that happens, the economic stimulus (and lower cost of taking out loans to buy airplanes) really could turn out to be good news for Boeing.