The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) was rallying on Friday morning, up around 0.4% at 11:20 a.m. EDT. This gain comes despite daily cases of the coronavirus rising in many countries around the world and in some U.S. states. A surge in cases could prompt countries to reimplement measures to slow the spread, which would almost certainly hurt the economic recovery.
Pushing the Dow higher on Friday were Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Boeing (NYSE: BA). A bullish analyst touted Apple stock as a buy after a steep correction, while a European regulator suggested that Boeing’s 737 MAX was on schedule to be flying again this year.
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Analyst says buy Apple on the dip
Apple stock peaked at the beginning of September after an epic rally from the depths of the pandemic-driven sell-off in March. Shares of the tech giant traded for just under $138 at the peak, good for a market capitalization well over $2 trillion.
It’s been a rough ride for Apple investors since then. The stock has rapidly corrected, losing about 20% of its value in just a few short weeks. Even at this lower price, Apple stock is still valued at over 33 times earnings, a historically elevated level.
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty isn’t worried about the valuation. Huberty reiterated an overweight rating and a $130 price target on Apple stock on Friday. The analyst sees the recent stock weakness as offering a “compelling entry point” as Apple gears up to announce its upcoming iPhones.
Huberty pointed to data that suggests Apple is winning market share in Europe and China. Currently, Apple’s iPhone lineup consists of the iPhone 11 family, the affordable iPhone SE, and the previous-generation iPhone XR. Later this year, the company is expected to launch 5G-enabled iPhones.
Apple’s retail store openings are also accelerating, according to Huberty, which will help the company sell iPhone users on its new devices. But a second wave of COVID-19 could prompt Apple to reclose some stores. Huberty also pointed to extending lead times for Apple’s Mac lineup, which suggests that demand is strong. The stock was up 2.1% by late Friday morning.
Boeing’s 737 MAX on the path to return
It’s looking more likely that Boeing’s grounded 737 MAX will be flying again by the end of the year. Reuters reported on Friday that Europe’s top aviation safety regulator sees the plane returning to the air in November and reentering service soon after.
“For the first time in a year and a half, I can say there’s an end in sight to work on the MAX,” said Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The agency will lift its technical ban following the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) doing the same, which will likely happen in November. All but one issue that EASA and the FAA disagreed on has been resolved.
While the 737 MAX timeline is good news for Boeing, regulators will likely be more stringent on future planes. EASA will take a much closer look at the Boeing 777X than it would have if the 737 MAX had never been grounded, according to Ky, with a particular focus on its flight control systems.
Boeing stock was up 3.6% by late Friday morning on the news. Shares are still down more than 50% since the start of the year.
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