Transportation stocks took a deep dive on Wall Street on Monday, riding a huge selloff in response to the downgrading of U.S. debt that sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 635 points.
The Dow Jones transportation index fell at a faster rate than the rest of the market, sliding 330 points, or 7 percent, against the 5.6 percent plunge in the overall average.
The decline hit markets around the world and looked to take a big toll on cyclical stocks, including transportation operators already bracing for a slow peak shipping season.
A.P. Moller-Maersk shares fell some 6 percent in Copenhagen, but trucking stocks on Wall Street took some of the greatest punishment, with several big names falling at a double-digit pace.
Tanker carrier Quality Distribution was among the biggest losers, falling $2.09 a share, or 16.5 percent. Con-way fell $3.56 a share, or 12.4 percent, despite a strong earnings report last week, and shares in manufacturer Navistar International plunged $6.34, or 14.7 percent. Truckload carrier Knight Transportation lost $5.20 a share, or 9.8 percent, while shares in Arkansas Best fell just under 10 percent.
Parcel carriers and railroads held up relatively well by comparison. FedEx and UPS shares both lost less than 6 percent and UPS was one of the few transportation companies to beat the overall market, with its shares off only $3.29, or 5 percent.
Union Pacific also beat the market, if flight, with a 5.4 percent drop, while share prices in Norfolk Southern and CSX were shaved a little more than 6 percent.
The maritime world took deeper cuts, however. NYSE-listed Diana Shipping lost 9.6 percent on Monday and shares in Horizon Lines, its shares already cut steeply because of the carrier¹s financial woes, lost 13.2 percent on Monday.