In an effort to preserve cash amid the coronavirus outbreak, airplane manufacturer Boeing implemented a hiring freeze on Wednesday in an effort to preserve cash as the travel industry takes an unforeseen hit. With almost a 20% stake in Boeing, one fund to watch is the iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF (BATS: ITA).

ITA seeks to track the investment results of the Dow Jones U.S. Select Aerospace & Defense Index composed of U.S. equities in the aerospace and defense sector. Aerospace companies in the index include manufacturers, assemblers and distributors of aircraft and aircraft parts.

Boeing is still feeling the pangs from last year when two fatal crashes of its 737 caused a worldwide grounding of the planes.

“On top of the work of safely returning the 737 MAX to service and the financial impact of the pause in MAX production, we’re now facing a global economic disruption generated by the COVID-19 coronavirus,” Boeing’s CEO Dave Calhoun and CFO Greg Smith wrote in a note to employees on Wednesday.

Additionally, to stem the tide of the coronavirus effects, Boeing will also limit travel and discretionary spending.

“Even as we take these steps to protect the business, we ask you to double down on the work you’re doing to improve safety and first-time quality in everything that we do,” they wrote in the memo.

“In the meantime, you’ll hear from us often through this uncertain period ahead,” they added. “We’ll be clear about the challenges. And we’ll be transparent as we consider additional affordability measures. Your respective functional and business leaders will share more information on these steps shortly.”

ITA Chart

ITA data by YCharts

For investors looking to buy the dip in the transportation sector, they can look at these funds:

  1. SPDR S&P Transportation ETF (NYSEArca: XTN): seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the total return performance of an index derived from the transportation segment of a U.S. total market composite index. The index represents the transportation segment of the S&P Total Market Index (“S&P TMI”).
  2. Direxion Daily Transportation Bull 3X Shares (NYSEArca: TPOR): seeks daily investment results equal to 300 percent of the daily performance of the Dow Jones Transportation Average. The index measures the performance of large, well-known companies within the transportation industry.
  3. iShares Transportation Average ETF (NYSEArca: IYT): seeks to track the investment results of the Dow Jones Transportation Average Index composed of U.S. equities in the transportation sector. The underlying index measures the performance of large, well-known companies within the transportation sector of the U.S. equity market.

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