Boeing Aims for Two Contracts Worth an Estimated $85 Billion

Boeing Aims for Two Contracts Worth an Estimated $85 Billion

Following this morning's mixed earnings releases and economic data, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading flat, up 0.17% as of 2:40 p.m. EDT. One good sign was that industrial production rose 0.6% in September, which was higher than the 0.4% increase that economists had expected. On the downside, pending home sales unexpectedly fell by 5.6% last month, according to the National Association of Realtors. With that in mind, here are a couple of industrial juggernauts making moves today.

Boeing is taking a breather today, down 0.9%. The stock has soared more than 70% year to date, and as one of the Dow's heaviest-weighted components, it continues to lift the index higher. Emirates, a fast-growing Dubai-based carrier, is in negotiations with Boeing for as many as 100 777X commercial aircraft. That contract could be worth up to $30 billion for Boeing and is further proof of growing global demand for commercial-aircraft demand.

Tim Clark, Emirates' president, said in the Financial Times (subscription may be required): "We are in a relatively advanced stage of commercial negotiations. ... I think whatever happens there will be a substantive order for the new 777."

Boeing also recently announced it would team up with rival Lockheed Martin for a U.S. Air Force long-range bomber -- a contract worth an estimated $55 billion. That's bad news for fellow defense contractor Northrop Grumman, which will have a difficult time competing against a team of Boeing and Lockheed.

"Building on decades of manned and unmanned weapon systems experience, we're proud to bring our collection of technologies, capabilities and resources to affordably design, develop, produce and sustain the bomber program," Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, said in a press release.

Ford posted an excellent third quarter last week, and now investors' attention turns toward General Motors' report on Wednesday. Analysts expect the largest Detroit automaker to post slightly better results than last year's, driven by higher North American profits from its new full-size pickup launches. What's interesting is that Barclays analyst Brian Johnson expects General Motors' loss in Europe to be smaller than last year's but greater than last quarter's. That would be unfavorable to the results seen at crosstown rival Ford, which improved its losses by $240 million from last year and $120 million from last quarter.

Ford's improved results in Europe reflect its management's quick decisions to cut costs and reduce capacity in the region. It's similar to what enabled the Blue Oval to post a profit in North America in 2009 while General Motors and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy.

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