American Airlines sees slowing demand amid surge in COVID-19 cases, but stock rallies

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American Airlines Group Inc. disclosed Friday that it has witnessed a “slowing” in demand and forward booking, as a result of the recent acceleration in new COVID-19 cases. The slowing follows a “strong start” to the fourth quarter, and follows travel restrictions in the period leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. Meanwhile, the stock surged 4.2% in premarket trading, after surging 13.9% amid a three-day win streak through Thursday. As a result of slowing demand, the air carrier now expects fourth-quarter average daily cash burn to be at the “high end” of previously provided guidance of $25 million to $30 million per day. The company now expects to end the fourth quarter with more than $14 billion in total available liquidity, compared with previous guidance of $13 billion in available liquidity excluding proceeds from a $1 billion equity offering. American’s stock has climbed 18.2% over the past three months through Thursday, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF has run up 29.3% and the S&P 500 has gained 7.0%.
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