The Dow Jones Industrial Average accelerated its decline on Friday afternoon, careening toward losses of around 200 points in response to the latest development in a Boeing scandal that refuses to go away.
Shortly before 1 pm ET, the Dow had lost 190.37 points or 0.7%, dropping the index down to 26,835.51.
After closing at 26,816.59 last Friday, the index now risks sliding into decline for the week.
The Dow had been under pressure all morning due to weakness in several core stocks, but it was the DJIA’s most heavily weighted component – Boeing – that caused the index to suffer the most damage.
Boeing shares slid 3.6% to $355.77, underperforming 28 of the Dow’s other 29 components. Only Johnson & Johnson stock (-5.07%) fared worse.
Boeing’s decline followed a Reuters report that employees of the US aerospace giant had misled aviation regulators about the safety of the 737 Max, which was involved in two fatal crashes in October 2018 and March 2019.
According to the report, instant messages from 2016 reveal that Boeing employees deliberately the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about a “key safety system” on the 737 Max, which was the fastest-selling airplane in the company’s history before its worldwide grounding seven months ago.
Boeing discovered the messages “some months ago,” the report said, but just yesterday disclosed them to the FAA, who described them as “concerning.”
This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.