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Three Aerospace Investments to Avoid After Boeing 737 MAX 9 Malfunction

Three aerospace investments to avoid after Boeing 737 MAX 9 malfunction face open-ended risk from a fuselage door plug blowing out of the aircraft at 16,000…



Three aerospace investments to avoid after Boeing 737 MAX 9 malfunction face open-ended risk from a fuselage door plug blowing out of the aircraft at 16,000 feet on Friday, Jan. 5.

The extent of the risk is beyond the control of Boeing, since aviation regulators now need to access what corrective action if required to ensure the safety of the flying public. Since Boeing previously suffered two fatal crashes of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft between 2018 and 2019 due to technical problem that took time to identify and fix.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) acted on Sunday, Jan. 7, to ground the 171 Boeing 737 MAX 9 planes that are installed door plugs, accounting for most of the roughly 218 Max 9s in service worldwide. With the FAA’s responsibility to ensure all those aircraft are inspected and safe to resume flying, the time required to return them to service is currently unknown.



Image of Boeing 737 MAX 9 courtesy of the National Transportation Safety Board

Three Aerospace Investments to Avoid: Boeing 737 MAX Fleet Grounded

Investors need to be aware that regulators move at their own pace, not with the sense of urgency that typically would exist in the private sector to restore a plane to revenue-generating services as soon as possible. Industry analysts generally overestimated how quickly the Chicago-based Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) would return its previous 737 MAX aircraft safety problems, so caution is warranted to sidestep a recurrence.

Upon receiving the revised version of instructions from Boeing the FAA will conduct a thorough review. The safety of the flying public, not speed, will determine the timeline for returning the Boeing 737-9 Max to service.”

Investigators at the National Transportation Safety Board, as shown in this video, inspected the damage to the plane, saying the inflight mishap occurred due to an emergency exit-sized door plug blowing out after it somehow becoming detached from the rest of the plane’s fuselage. Four bolts intended to keep the plug from moving out of alignment were missing, the investigators said.

Part of the investigation will determine whether the bolts had ever been installed, and, if so, how they ended up missing. The matter is highly significant, since roughly 60% of Boeing’s annual revenues come from its Commercial Airplanes manufacturing unit.

Three Aerospace Investments to Avoid: Boeing

Boeing still has its supporters. The stock recently gained a buy recommendation from BofA Global Research’s defense and aerospace analyst Ron Epstein. Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries and has a multi-year backlog of orders.

Boeing is steadily progressing toward its 737 annual production target, with 23 deliveries completed since the beginning of December, out of the 24 required to achieve the lower-end of its full-year target of 375-400 737s, Boeing’s aerospace and defense analyst Epstein wrote in a recent research note. He also speculated about the company’s potential return to a production rate of 31 a month.

BofA expects Boeing to generate $15 free cash flow/share by 2026. Epstein boosted his price objective on Boeing to $275 from $250 to reflect a re-rating due to the Fed’s planned interest rate cuts in 2024.

Chart courtesy of

Chicago investment firm William Blair gave Boeing a buy recommendation last month and affirmed its rating on Jan. 8 amid a drop in the company’s stock price since the 737 MAX 9 incident on Jan. 5. The “terrifying” midair emergency aboard the Alaska Air flight with 171 passengers and four crew members, should not have a “major financial impact” on Boeing unless it happens again, wrote Louie DiPalma, an aerospace analyst at the company.

A less positive outlook for Boeing came from Michelle Connell, president and owner of Dallas-based Portia Capital Management, LLC. She is wary about the stock, as I personally have been since it had two Boeing 737 MAX passenger airline crashes on October 29, 2018, and March 10, 2019, respectively. Those accidents caused the deaths of 346 passengers and crew members.

Despite Boeing announcing new potential airline orders, Connell said she does not think Boeing is “out of the woods” with its safety issues. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had announced before the Jan. 5 malfunction that the agency will begin further reviews of Boeing 737 Max planes to determine if they have problems with loose bolts, she added.

The company’s Boeing 737 MAX aircraft have been under scrutiny since before the pandemic and it may take “several years” to put those issues fully in the past, Connell continued.

Michelle Connell heads Portia Capital Management LLC.

Three Aerospace Investments to Avoid: ITA

A aerospace fund to avoid for now is iShares US Aerospace & Defense (ITA). The fund has the lowest fees among the three, but has the worst performance compared to the other two, said Bob Carlson, a former pension fund chairman who heads the Retirement Watch investment newsletter.

Bob Carlson, who heads Retirement Watch, answers questions from Paul Dykewicz.

ITA seeks to track the Dow Jones U.S. Select Aerospace and Defense Index. Like some other defense and aerospace funds, this one is overweight toward industrials, while underweight toward technology and consumer cyclicals, Carlson said.

The fund recently owned 35 securities, and 76.8% of the ETF was in its 10 largest positions. The top five positions in the fund were Boeing, RTX, Lockheed Martin, Axon Enterprise (NASDAQ: AXON) and L3Harris Technologies (NYSE: LHX).  Its dividend yield is 1.4%.

Connell criticized the concentration of ITA’s holdings in its largest positions. Boeing accounts for 19.26% of the fund, followed by RTX Corp., with 17.09%. RTX fell 13% in the past year to hold back the fund’s performance compared to its peers. Connell counseled.

Chart courtesy of

Three Aerospace Investments to Avoid: SPR

Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE: SPR) finished 2023 strongly but the Jan. 5 Alaska Airline emergency changed that trajectory quickly. The Wichita, Kansas-based company, formerly owned by Boeing, includes the production of fuselages among its key manufacturing roles. It also builds integrated wings and wing components, pylons and nacelles for aircraft.

Amid reports that Boeing, its most important customer, would boost production in 2024, the price of SPR shares rallied 15.6% in December. In just the past couple of days, the share price of Spirit AeroSystems fell close to 10%.

As a fuselage maker, the company faces the same uncertainty as Boeing about how long regulators may need to identify the cause of the latest Boeing 737 MAX scare and oversee a remedy. Such delays are bad for business, as well as revenues and profitability.

Chart courtesy of

Oher investment Opportunities Exist

Two proponents of national security stocks are Mark Skousen, PhD, and seasoned market observer Jim Woods. The pair team up to head the Fast Money Alert advisory service They already are profitable in their recent recommendation of Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) in Fast Money Alert.

Mark Skousen, a scion of Ben Franklin, meets with Paul Dykewicz.

Jim Woods, a former U.S. Army paratrooper, co-heads Fast Money Alert.

Military Demand May Help Overcome Drag on Three Aerospace Investments to Avoid

The U.S. military faces an acute need to adopt innovation, to expedite implementation of technological gains, to tap into the talents of people in various industries and to step-up collaboration with private industry and international partners to enhance effectiveness, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. told attendees on Nov 16 at a national security conference. Prime examples of the need are multiple raging wars, including those in Ukraine and the Middle East, as well as a cold one involving China and its strained relationships with Taiwan and other Asian nations.

The shocking Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israel triggered an ongoing war in the Middle East, coupled with Russia’s February 2022 invasion and continuing assault of neighboring Ukraine. Those brutal military conflicts show the fragility of peace when determined aggressors are willing to use any means to achieve their goals. To fend off such attacks, rapid and effective response is required.

“The Department of Defense is doing more than ever before to deter, defend, and, if necessary, defeat aggression,” Gen. Brown said at the national security conference held at Johns Hopkins University.

Russia’s 360-foot-long Novocherkassk war ship was damaged on Dec. 26 by a Ukrainian attack on a Black Sea port in Crimea. This video shows the ship exploding at the port when struck by aircraft-guided missiles.

Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr.
Photo By: Benjamin Applebaum

National security threats can require immediate action, Gen. Brown said he quickly learned since taking his post on Oct. 1.

“We may not have much warning when the next fight begins,” Gen. Brown said. “We need to be ready.”

In a pre-recorded speech, Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP, told the John Hopkins attendees of a critical need for collaboration between government and industry.

“Building enduring technological advances for the U.S. military will help our service members and allies defend freedom across the globe,” Bloomberg remarked before the National Security Innovation Forum at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center.

Michael Bloomberg, philanthropist and founder of Bloomberg L.P.

The “horrific terrorist attacks” against Israel and civilians living there on Oct. 7 underscore the importance of that mission, Bloomberg added.

The three aerospace investments to avoid may recover in the months ahead, but there is no need to take the plunge prematurely with many unknowns yet to be navigated.

Paul Dykewicz,, is an accomplished, award-winning journalist who has written for Dow Jones, the Wall Street JournalInvestor’s Business DailyUSA Today, the Journal of Commerce, Seeking Alpha, Guru Focus and other publications and websites. Attention Holiday Gift Buyers! Consider purchasing Paul’s inspirational book, “Holy Smokes! Golden Guidance from Notre Dame’s Championship Chaplain,” with a foreword by former national championship-winning football coach Lou Holtz. The uplifting book is great gift and is endorsed by Joe Montana, Joe Theismann, Ara Parseghian, “Rocket” Ismail, Reggie Brooks, Dick Vitale and many othersCall 202-677-4457 for special pricing on multiple-book purchases or autographed copies! Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulDykewicz. He is the editor of and, a writer for both websites and a columnist. He further is editorial director of Eagle Financial Publications in Washington, D.C., where he edits monthly investment newsletters, time-sensitive trading alerts, free e-letters and other investment reports. Paul previously served as business editor of Baltimore’s Daily Record newspaper, after writing for the Baltimore Business Journal and Crain Communications.

The post Three Aerospace Investments to Avoid After Boeing 737 MAX 9 Malfunction appeared first on Stock Investor.

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Are Voters Recoiling Against Disorder?

Are Voters Recoiling Against Disorder?

Authored by Michael Barone via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The headlines coming out of the Super…



Are Voters Recoiling Against Disorder?

Authored by Michael Barone via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The headlines coming out of the Super Tuesday primaries have got it right. Barring cataclysmic changes, Donald Trump and Joe Biden will be the Republican and Democratic nominees for president in 2024.

(Left) President Joe Biden delivers remarks on canceling student debt at Culver City Julian Dixon Library in Culver City, Calif., on Feb. 21, 2024. (Right) Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump stands on stage during a campaign event at Big League Dreams Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nev., on Jan. 27, 2024. (Mario Tama/Getty Images; David Becker/Getty Images)

With Nikki Haley’s withdrawal, there will be no more significantly contested primaries or caucuses—the earliest both parties’ races have been over since something like the current primary-dominated system was put in place in 1972.

The primary results have spotlighted some of both nominees’ weaknesses.

Donald Trump lost high-income, high-educated constituencies, including the entire metro area—aka the Swamp. Many but by no means all Haley votes there were cast by Biden Democrats. Mr. Trump can’t afford to lose too many of the others in target states like Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Majorities and large minorities of voters in overwhelmingly Latino counties in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley and some in Houston voted against Joe Biden, and even more against Senate nominee Rep. Colin Allred (D-Texas).

Returns from Hispanic precincts in New Hampshire and Massachusetts show the same thing. Mr. Biden can’t afford to lose too many Latino votes in target states like Arizona and Georgia.

When Mr. Trump rode down that escalator in 2015, commentators assumed he’d repel Latinos. Instead, Latino voters nationally, and especially the closest eyewitnesses of Biden’s open-border policy, have been trending heavily Republican.

High-income liberal Democrats may sport lawn signs proclaiming, “In this house, we believe ... no human is illegal.” The logical consequence of that belief is an open border. But modest-income folks in border counties know that flows of illegal immigrants result in disorder, disease, and crime.

There is plenty of impatience with increased disorder in election returns below the presidential level. Consider Los Angeles County, America’s largest county, with nearly 10 million people, more people than 40 of the 50 states. It voted 71 percent for Mr. Biden in 2020.

Current returns show county District Attorney George Gascon winning only 21 percent of the vote in the nonpartisan primary. He’ll apparently face Republican Nathan Hochman, a critic of his liberal policies, in November.

Gascon, elected after the May 2020 death of counterfeit-passing suspect George Floyd in Minneapolis, is one of many county prosecutors supported by billionaire George Soros. His policies include not charging juveniles as adults, not seeking higher penalties for gang membership or use of firearms, and bringing fewer misdemeanor cases.

The predictable result has been increased car thefts, burglaries, and personal robberies. Some 120 assistant district attorneys have left the office, and there’s a backlog of 10,000 unprosecuted cases.

More than a dozen other Soros-backed and similarly liberal prosecutors have faced strong opposition or have left office.

St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner resigned last May amid lawsuits seeking her removal, Milwaukee’s John Chisholm retired in January, and Baltimore’s Marilyn Mosby was defeated in July 2022 and convicted of perjury in September 2023. Last November, Loudoun County, Virginia, voters (62 percent Biden) ousted liberal Buta Biberaj, who declined to prosecute a transgender student for assault, and in June 2022 voters in San Francisco (85 percent Biden) recalled famed radical Chesa Boudin.

Similarly, this Tuesday, voters in San Francisco passed ballot measures strengthening police powers and requiring treatment of drug-addicted welfare recipients.

In retrospect, it appears the Floyd video, appearing after three months of COVID-19 confinement, sparked a frenzied, even crazed reaction, especially among the highly educated and articulate. One fatal incident was seen as proof that America’s “systemic racism” was worse than ever and that police forces should be defunded and perhaps abolished.

2020 was “the year America went crazy,” I wrote in January 2021, a year in which police funding was actually cut by Democrats in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver. A year in which young New York Times (NYT) staffers claimed they were endangered by the publication of Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-Ark.) opinion article advocating calling in military forces if necessary to stop rioting, as had been done in Detroit in 1967 and Los Angeles in 1992. A craven NYT publisher even fired the editorial page editor for running the article.

Evidence of visible and tangible discontent with increasing violence and its consequences—barren and locked shelves in Manhattan chain drugstores, skyrocketing carjackings in Washington, D.C.—is as unmistakable in polls and election results as it is in daily life in large metropolitan areas. Maybe 2024 will turn out to be the year even liberal America stopped acting crazy.

Chaos and disorder work against incumbents, as they did in 1968 when Democrats saw their party’s popular vote fall from 61 percent to 43 percent.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times or ZeroHedge.

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/09/2024 - 23:20

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Veterans Affairs Kept COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate In Place Without Evidence

Veterans Affairs Kept COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate In Place Without Evidence

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),




Veterans Affairs Kept COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate In Place Without Evidence

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reviewed no data when deciding in 2023 to keep its COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place.

Doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in Washington in a file image. (Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

VA Secretary Denis McDonough said on May 1, 2023, that the end of many other federal mandates “will not impact current policies at the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

He said the mandate was remaining for VA health care personnel “to ensure the safety of veterans and our colleagues.”

Mr. McDonough did not cite any studies or other data. A VA spokesperson declined to provide any data that was reviewed when deciding not to rescind the mandate. The Epoch Times submitted a Freedom of Information Act for “all documents outlining which data was relied upon when establishing the mandate when deciding to keep the mandate in place.”

The agency searched for such data and did not find any.

The VA does not even attempt to justify its policies with science, because it can’t,” Leslie Manookian, president and founder of the Health Freedom Defense Fund, told The Epoch Times.

“The VA just trusts that the process and cost of challenging its unfounded policies is so onerous, most people are dissuaded from even trying,” she added.

The VA’s mandate remains in place to this day.

The VA’s website claims that vaccines “help protect you from getting severe illness” and “offer good protection against most COVID-19 variants,” pointing in part to observational data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that estimate the vaccines provide poor protection against symptomatic infection and transient shielding against hospitalization.

There have also been increasing concerns among outside scientists about confirmed side effects like heart inflammation—the VA hid a safety signal it detected for the inflammation—and possible side effects such as tinnitus, which shift the benefit-risk calculus.

President Joe Biden imposed a slate of COVID-19 vaccine mandates in 2021. The VA was the first federal agency to implement a mandate.

President Biden rescinded the mandates in May 2023, citing a drop in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. His administration maintains the choice to require vaccines was the right one and saved lives.

“Our administration’s vaccination requirements helped ensure the safety of workers in critical workforces including those in the healthcare and education sectors, protecting themselves and the populations they serve, and strengthening their ability to provide services without disruptions to operations,” the White House said.

Some experts said requiring vaccination meant many younger people were forced to get a vaccine despite the risks potentially outweighing the benefits, leaving fewer doses for older adults.

By mandating the vaccines to younger people and those with natural immunity from having had COVID, older people in the U.S. and other countries did not have access to them, and many people might have died because of that,” Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine on leave from Harvard Medical School, told The Epoch Times previously.

The VA was one of just a handful of agencies to keep its mandate in place following the removal of many federal mandates.

“At this time, the vaccine requirement will remain in effect for VA health care personnel, including VA psychologists, pharmacists, social workers, nursing assistants, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, peer specialists, medical support assistants, engineers, housekeepers, and other clinical, administrative, and infrastructure support employees,” Mr. McDonough wrote to VA employees at the time.

This also includes VA volunteers and contractors. Effectively, this means that any Veterans Health Administration (VHA) employee, volunteer, or contractor who works in VHA facilities, visits VHA facilities, or provides direct care to those we serve will still be subject to the vaccine requirement at this time,” he said. “We continue to monitor and discuss this requirement, and we will provide more information about the vaccination requirements for VA health care employees soon. As always, we will process requests for vaccination exceptions in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies.”

The version of the shots cleared in the fall of 2022, and available through the fall of 2023, did not have any clinical trial data supporting them.

A new version was approved in the fall of 2023 because there were indications that the shots not only offered temporary protection but also that the level of protection was lower than what was observed during earlier stages of the pandemic.

Ms. Manookian, whose group has challenged several of the federal mandates, said that the mandate “illustrates the dangers of the administrative state and how these federal agencies have become a law unto themselves.”

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/09/2024 - 22:10

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Low Iron Levels In Blood Could Trigger Long COVID: Study

Low Iron Levels In Blood Could Trigger Long COVID: Study

Authored by Amie Dahnke via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

People with inadequate…



Low Iron Levels In Blood Could Trigger Long COVID: Study

Authored by Amie Dahnke via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

People with inadequate iron levels in their blood due to a COVID-19 infection could be at greater risk of long COVID.


A new study indicates that problems with iron levels in the bloodstream likely trigger chronic inflammation and other conditions associated with the post-COVID phenomenon. The findings, published on March 1 in Nature Immunology, could offer new ways to treat or prevent the condition.

Long COVID Patients Have Low Iron Levels

Researchers at the University of Cambridge pinpointed low iron as a potential link to long-COVID symptoms thanks to a study they initiated shortly after the start of the pandemic. They recruited people who tested positive for the virus to provide blood samples for analysis over a year, which allowed the researchers to look for post-infection changes in the blood. The researchers looked at 214 samples and found that 45 percent of patients reported symptoms of long COVID that lasted between three and 10 months.

In analyzing the blood samples, the research team noticed that people experiencing long COVID had low iron levels, contributing to anemia and low red blood cell production, just two weeks after they were diagnosed with COVID-19. This was true for patients regardless of age, sex, or the initial severity of their infection.

According to one of the study co-authors, the removal of iron from the bloodstream is a natural process and defense mechanism of the body.

But it can jeopardize a person’s recovery.

When the body has an infection, it responds by removing iron from the bloodstream. This protects us from potentially lethal bacteria that capture the iron in the bloodstream and grow rapidly. It’s an evolutionary response that redistributes iron in the body, and the blood plasma becomes an iron desert,” University of Oxford professor Hal Drakesmith said in a press release. “However, if this goes on for a long time, there is less iron for red blood cells, so oxygen is transported less efficiently affecting metabolism and energy production, and for white blood cells, which need iron to work properly. The protective mechanism ends up becoming a problem.”

The research team believes that consistently low iron levels could explain why individuals with long COVID continue to experience fatigue and difficulty exercising. As such, the researchers suggested iron supplementation to help regulate and prevent the often debilitating symptoms associated with long COVID.

It isn’t necessarily the case that individuals don’t have enough iron in their body, it’s just that it’s trapped in the wrong place,” Aimee Hanson, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge who worked on the study, said in the press release. “What we need is a way to remobilize the iron and pull it back into the bloodstream, where it becomes more useful to the red blood cells.”

The research team pointed out that iron supplementation isn’t always straightforward. Achieving the right level of iron varies from person to person. Too much iron can cause stomach issues, ranging from constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain to gastritis and gastric lesions.

1 in 5 Still Affected by Long COVID

COVID-19 has affected nearly 40 percent of Americans, with one in five of those still suffering from symptoms of long COVID, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Long COVID is marked by health issues that continue at least four weeks after an individual was initially diagnosed with COVID-19. Symptoms can last for days, weeks, months, or years and may include fatigue, cough or chest pain, headache, brain fog, depression or anxiety, digestive issues, and joint or muscle pain.

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/09/2024 - 12:50

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