Southwest Airlines Stock Dips After Earnings

Short covering has drastically pulled back over the past reporting period

by Emma Duncan

Published on Jul 25, 2019 at 10:02 AM

Earnings season continues this morning as traders digest a quarterly beat out of Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV). Specifically, Southwest managed a slight profit despite the global grounding of the Boeing 737 Max planes, while also dishing out a better-than-expected quarterly earnings. Softening the Boeing blow was the company's strong bookings for the quarter. At last check, LUV was 3.9% lower at $52.60.

On the charts Southwest stock remains 17% higher year-to-date. The equity continues to challenge the pressure of its 320-day moving average, a trendline that has capped multiple breakout attempts by the airliner. The $54 level has also been a ceiling of late, with the stock once again back below the mark following today's retreat.

LUV has had a tendency to make bigger moves than what options were pricing in over the past year. This is per the stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) of 85 out of 100, meaning buying premiums on the stock have been attractive over the past 12 months. 

Short sellers have been retreating from the airline of late, already down 35% within the most recent reporting period. At the stock's average pace of daily trading, however, it would take just over two days for shorts to cover their bearish bets.

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