It's nice to see a media storm staying in its teacup, for once

Boeing's shares go up, in spite of everything.

The 787 Dreamliner battery problems have been an ongoing background drone amid the business news for some time, but it looks like the coverage hasn't affected the share price. In fact Boeing shares rose 12 per cent this year.

This could be because Boeing's main business is not the 787, but the 737 - narrower crafts of which they'll deliver 900 in the next two years (as opposed to 200 787s), and of which there are rumors of a $18bn deal this week with Ryanair. Boeing's 2011 to 2014 shipments are also expected to grow an average 15 per cent annually. So if you're a sensible investor, you won't have paid much attention to all the battery stuff.

Still, the usual consensus is that media coverage affects share price far more than it should - not because investors are too gullible, but because they think other investors are. This even extends to twitter/facebook/youtube - at least according to this recent study by Arthur O’Connor, which seems to suggest a clear link between share price and positive social media mentions. (This hedge fund is trying to get in on the act by offering investors "mood analysis" of twitter, which they translate to the stock market. They do this in a fairly crude manner - looking at the frequency of words such as "calm" in relation with certain stocks - but it's an interesting idea.)

Boeing investors are either very strong minded, or haven't been keeping up with the news. Either way, it's refreshing.

A 787 Dreamliner. Photograph: Getty Images
Photo: Getty
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Commons Confidential: Herod in the House

Your weekly dose of gossip from around Westminster.

The spell cast over Theresa May by the youthful Gavin Williamson and Cronus, his pet tarantula, leaves envious Tory rivals accusing him of plotting to succeed the Stand-In Prime Minister. The wily Chief Whip is eyed suspiciously as a baby-faced assassin waiting to pounce.

My tearoom snout whispers that May is more dependent on the fresh-faced schemer (he also served as David Cameron’s PPS) who signed a survival deal bunging the DUP £1bn protection money than she is on David Davis, Philip Hammond, Amber Rudd or Boris Johnson. She delegated the reshuffle’s middle and lower ranks to Williamson, but his nous is questioned after he appointed Pudsey’s Stuart Andrew (majority: 331) and Calder Valley’s Craig Whittaker (609) as henchmen. Vulnerable seats are dangerously unprotected when whips don’t speak in the House of Commons.

Left-wing Labour MPs mutter that Jeremy Corbyn is implementing a “King Herod strategy” to prevent the birth of rival messiahs. A former shadow cabinet member insisted that any display of ambition would be fatal. The punishment snubbings of Yvette Cooper and Chuka Umunna, who had expressed a willingness to serve, were intended to intimidate others into obedience. The assertion was reinforced by an influential apparatchik musing: “John [McDonnell] is looking for a bag carrier, so Chuka could apply for that.” The election has laced the boot tightly on the left foot.

The military career of Barnsley’s Major Dan Jarvis included service in Northern Ireland. Perhaps old acquaintances will be renewed with the allocation to Sinn Fein’s seven MPs of a meeting room next to the Labour squaddie’s office.

Ian Lavery, the burly ex-miner appointed as Labour’s new chair by Jeremy Corbyn, disclosed that he was bombarded with messages urging him to “nut” – that is, headbutt – Boris Johnson when he faced down the Foreign Secretary on TV during the election. I suspect that even Trembling BoJo’s money would be on the Ashington lad in a class war with the Old Etonian.

Campaign tales continue to be swapped. Labour’s victorious Sharon Hodgson helped a family put up a tent. The defeated Lib Dem Sarah Olney was heckled through a letter box by a senior Labour adviser’s five-year-old son: “What’s that silly woman saying? Vote Labour!” Oddest of all was the Tory minister James Wharton informing his opponent Paul Williams that he’d put in a good word for him with Labour HQ. There was no need – Williams won.

The Tory injustice minister Dominic Raab is advertising for an unpaid Westminster “volunteer”, covering only “commuting expenses”. Does he expect them to eat at food banks?

Kevin Maguire is Associate Editor (Politics) on the Daily Mirror and author of our Commons Confidential column on the high politics and low life in Westminster. An award-winning journalist, he is in frequent demand on television and radio and co-authored a book on great parliamentary scandals. He was formerly Chief Reporter on the Guardian and Labour Correspondent on the Daily Telegraph.

This article first appeared in the 29 June 2017 issue of the New Statesman, The Brexit plague

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