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Boeing, airline shares tumble after Trump calls off pandemic stimulus talks till after election

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A United Airlines plane takes off above American Airlines planes on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on October 1, 2020.

Mario Tama | Getty Images

Airline stocks and shares of Boeing tumbled Tuesday afternoon after President Donald Trump called off talks with Democrats for a national stimulus package until after the election, closing the main avenue for carriers battered by the pandemic to receive more aid.

American Airlines, United Airlines and other U.S. carriers began furloughing more than 32,000 workers last week. Airlines had agreed to not cut any jobs until after Oct. 1 under the terms of $25 billion in federal payroll support passed in March.

Carriers’ executives and labor unions were pleading for more aid in Washington in recent weeks. The proposal won bipartisan support but remained stuck as Democrats in Congress and the Trump administration failed to reach a national coronavirus package that could have included more aid.

Airlines that started furloughing their workers said they would reverse course if more aid was approved.

American’s shares were down 4%, United’s fell by 2.6%. Shares of Southwest Airlines, which asked its unionized employees to take pay cuts in order to avoid furloughs through the end of next year, were down 2.5%. Delta Air Lines was down 2.4% in the last hour of the session.

Boeing shares, already down on the day after issuing a downbeat aircraft demand forecast, were trading close to 6% lower after Trump’s announcement pausing stimulus talks.

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Steven Gregory