After Hurricane Irma It Will Be Time To LUV The Airline Stocks Again

By | September 7, 2017

The impact of Hurricane Irma on those who have lost loved ones or whose homes have been destroyed is incalculable. Its effect on businesses in the area will be enormous.

The airline industry has already cancelled hundreds of flights surrounding the affected areas. A number of carriers, including Delta (DAL) , JetBlue (JBLU) and American Airlines (AAL) , have either capped or reduced prices on remaining flights to help people who are trying to evacuate. But Hurricane Irma’s hit on the airline industry has only accelerated the downside momentum in the sector that began in June. What’s more, in a bit of weather irony, airline stocks are now heading into a seasonal period that almost guarantees higher share prices by the end of October.

Southwest Airlines (LUV) has been the strongest performing of the major airline stocks for the last several years. So, as the sector is preparing for a rally period, the leading member of the group should be the one to monitor.

A technical analysis of the stock begins with the bar chart that shows the seasonal performance of Southwest going back to the 2009 low in the market. At the top of each bar is a number that indicates the percent of times the stock price closed higher than it opened in that particular month.

Over the period, August has been the month with the weakest performance, while in October, the stock price has closed higher 100% of the time. The chart does not measure the magnitude of performance but the October number is still an impressive statistic.

Let’s take a look at the Southwest price chart for entry points ahead of a potential bounce going into the seasonally strong period.

The decline that began in June has returned the stock price to the 50% retracement level of the 2016 low and 2017 high range, which is intersecting with a Fibonacci fan line drawn off the low and through the retracement level at its price high point.

Downside momentum as reflected in the relative strength index appears to be at a bottom. Below the RSI is the slope indicator, a measure of the rise-over-run during the 20-period center line of the red-shaded Raff regression indicator. Slope is turning up and moving over its 10-period signal average even as price is declining, a confirmation of the underlying shift in short-term momentum direction.

On Wednesday a bullish hammer candle formed at the intersection of the Fibonacci retracement and fan levels, and was accompanied by a strong move in upside volume. The inference is that a bounce followed by a basing period should develop in this area in preparation for the seasonal move higher coming up next month.

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