Southwest, one of few profitable U.S. carriers, has largely insulated itself by taking long-term options to buy fuel at set prices. The Dallas-based carrier hedged 85 percent of its fuel purchases for 2005 at the equivalent of $26 per barrel of oil, a gamble that has paid huge dividends.
Continental shares rose 16 cents, to close at $10.74 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. AMR shares gained 22 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $9.03; Delta shares rose 10 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $4.20. Eagan, Minn.-based Northwest's shares gained 21 cents or 3.1 percent, to close at $6.92 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Shares of Southwest fell 19 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $14.31 on the NYSE; and JetBlue gained 3 cents, to $17.40 on the Nasdaq.