Can jet engines save General Electric?

blue tone jet engine blades closeup

Something unusual happened on Friday. General Electric (GE) shares moved higher.

The struggling industrial behemoth stunned investors by reporting better-than-expected earnings and revenue. That made it the second-best performing member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average last week.

One thing really stood out for people following its broader industry group: Aviation. Not only are jet engines the company’s largest business segment by a wide margin. They also enjoyed a 26 percent profit jump in the first quarter.

Interestingly, GE’s not alone in this. Another major industrial, Honeywell (HON), cited “strong demand for original equipment for commercial aviation.” Textron (TXT) made similar comments just two days prior about its Cessna business jets. There have also been plenty of other good stories in the aerospace sector. Ever heard of TransDigm (TDG), which provides a range of products for the industry? It hit four new all-time highs this week. Boeing’s (BA) also had the biggest gain in the Dow over the last year.

Of course, there are plenty of reasons why GE’s among the worst major stocks in the market since late 2016. And, this isn’t a recommendation. But the very same time the bears have been piling in and trashing this stock, a lot of potentially positive trends seem to be forming in its most important business area.


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David Russell is VP of Market Intelligence at TradeStation. Drawing on nearly two decades of experience as a financial journalist and analyst, his background includes equities, emerging markets, fixed-income and derivatives. He previously worked at Bloomberg News, CNBC and E*TRADE Financial. Russell systematically reviews countless global financial headlines and indicators in search of broad tradable trends that present opportunities repeatedly over time. Customers can expect him to keep them appraised of sector leadership, relative strength and the big stories – especially those overlooked by other commentators. He’s also a big fan of generating leverage with options to limit capital at risk.