Market Overview

Tuesday's Market Minute: Boeing Closes Seattle Factories On COVID-19 Woes

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Tuesday's Market Minute: Boeing Closes Seattle Factories On COVID-19 Woes

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) announced a two-week shutdown for its Puget Sound-area factories, beginning tomorrow. Most of the airline manufacturer’s production is centered in Washington state and the Seattle area, which is now in a state of emergency.

Boeing said in a statement, “These actions are being taken to ensure the well-being of employees, their families and the local community, that will include an orderly shutdown consistent with the requirements of its customers.”

This move comes after several Boeing employees tested positive for COVID-19, and nearly one day after a worker at the Boeing plant in Everett, WA reportedly died from the virus.

This contributes to the troublesome narrative facing Boeing over the past year. The industrial giant grounded its best-selling 737 Max on Mar. 13, 2019 after two deadly crashes killed 346 people. Since then, the company saw a series of headwinds while trying to return the jet to service.

Shares have fallen nearly 50% from the anniversary of the grounding.

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, airlines were negotiating settlements over the 737 Max’s return. Boeing reported several hindrances as of late, pushing the Max’s readiness until at least June/July of 2020. However, in today’s market environment, the 737 Max seems to be the least of the airlines’ troubles. With the 737 Max already halted, this limits airlines from having to further ground more aircrafts in the wake of a steep decline in travel. Boeing shares were up roughly 15% on Monday after halting in mid-day trading.