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While aviation enthusiasts, mainstream media and the general public haven’t held back following yesterday’s second Boeing 737 MAX crash, there’s been one group waiting to weigh in: investors.

Why hasn’t Wall Street jumped on the bandwagon, too? Trading hours. Boeing’s home at the New York Stock Exchange just opened up, and investors were eager to pounce — or, in this case, pack up and go home, at least until some of the 737 MAX uncertainty gets cleared up.

Just after the market opened, $BA fell to around $366 a share, representing a drop of just over 13% from its Friday close.

While a $56+ single-day drop in share price would be the single largest to ever hit the company, you can expect the share value to rise and fall throughout the day. Also, with Friday’s $422.54 close price, Boeing’s stock is worth far more now than it was during its largest-ever percentage drop — of 17.63% (but just $7.66) — when the market re-opened after the September 11 attacks, on September 17, 2001.

Inside Southwest
Inside Southwest’s Boeing 737 MAX 8. Photo by Emily McNutt.

So why the sudden slump? Boeing has a lot riding on the success of the 737 MAX, and two disasters with chilling similarities could spook customers — airlines and passengers alike. According to the company, “The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating nearly 4,700 orders from more than 100 customers worldwide.” With a list price of nearly $122 million, losing any of those orders would be far from ideal.

The crash could have a ripple effect throughout the industry as well, as countries and airlines begin to ground their planes, pending the outcome of this latest investigation. For example, according to research conducted by Raymond James & Associates, 5% of of Southwest’s available seats are on the 737 MAX, with that figure dropping to 2% at American Airlines.

Analysis provided by Raymond James & Associates.
Analysis provided by Raymond James & Associates.

The type represents 1% of available seats at United, which operates the larger 737 MAX 9, though that figure will climb to 2% as the airline plans to add more aircraft next month. Grounding the MAX at any of these airlines would mean canceled flights, and the lost revenue that comes in tow.

For more on this latest 737 MAX tragedy, see:

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