From: Reuters
Published May 22, 2008 12:34 PM

Airline stocks rally as oil prices retreat

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. airline shares were broadly higher on Thursday as oil prices -- directly linked to the price of jet fuel -- retreated from a record high above $135 a barrel.

American Airlines parent AMR Corp <AMR.N> posted the sharpest gain, rallying more than 9 percent. AMR's jump outpaced a 3 percent rise in the Amex airline index <.XAL>. Nymex crude oil <CLc1> was down 96 cents to $132.21 a barrel.

Standard & Poor's equity analyst Jim Corridore said the jump in airline shares was simply a rebound on the heels of Wednesday's sell-off.

The pain in the airline industry was underscored on Wednesday by news that American Airlines would cut domestic capacity by as much as 12 percent and begin charging a $15 fee to check a single bag.

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"I think they're pulling all the levers they can," Corridore said. "They are sending a message to consumers that things are dire, and I do think that consumers need to get that message."

AMR shares were up 9.16 percent at $6.79 on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of United Airlines parent UAL Corp <UAUA.O> were up 4.29 percent to $8.50 on Nasdaq. Delta Air Lines <DAL.N> shares were up 4.33 percent at $6.02 on the NYSE.

(Reporting by Kyle Peterson; editing by John Wallace)

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