Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was trading 29 points higher, or 0.19%, by midafternoon despite a decline in consumer sentiment and escalating tensions in Iraq (but when are tensions not escalating somewhere). Consumer sentiment fell to 81.2 in early June, its lowest level in three months, according to the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters. With escalating violence in Iraq, oil prices have pushed to their highest level since September -- investors should keep an eye on the potential impact on commodity prices, which could slow economic growth.
With all that in mind ,here are two companies making big headlines.
Inside the Dow, aviation giant Boeing (NYSE:BA) announced that China Eastern Airlines has committed to purchase 80 737 passenger jets.
Once finalized, the order is expected to become China's largest-ever purchase by an airline for single-aisle airplanes, according to Boeing. The order is valued at roughly $8 billion at current list prices and will join Boeing's already massive backlog of orders worth (as of last quarter) $440 billion.
Boeing investors should keep an eye on Chinese airlines, which are expanding their fleets and networks to keep pace with the country's accelerated air travel growth. In fact, Boeing hasn't ruled out the possibility of building a final assembly line for single-aisle commercial aircraft in China, which could give the company an edge in securing additional 737 orders. Over the last half decade, Boeing has continued to increase its estimate for demand from China; the company now expects the country through 2032 to need 5,580 new airplanes worth roughly $780 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Outside of the Dow, General Motors (NYSE:GM) today announced another four recalls that cover more than 500,000 cars sold in the U.S. The new set of recalls includes every single Camaro sold since the new model went on sale in 2010 after its eight-year hiatus.
This new recall is scarily similar to the ignition-switch problem that has been linked to at least 13 deaths and prompted a federal investigation. General Motors said a Camaro driver's knee could knock the key and ignition switch out of the "run" position. GM said it has connected the defect to three crashes with four minor injuries.
This puts General Motors' count of individual recalls this year to 38, which cover more than more than 16.4 million globally, including 14.4 million vehicles in the U.S., according to Automotive News.
With General Motors dominating the negative recall headlines, Toyota Motor quietly announced its own recall of 844,277 vehicles in the U.S. due to faulty Takata airbags. That brings Toyota's grand total of vehicle recalls in 2014 to 10.1 million vehicles worldwide.