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American Airlines higher, United Continental lower after traffic numbers

An American Airlines plane takes off at the Miami International Airport.
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A trio of major American airline operators saw mixed reactions on the stock market Tuesday, after releasing their July traffic data.

American Airlines Group's stock was up the highest flying of the three carriers, ending the day 0.7 percent higher after the company said it expects a smaller-than-expected decline in revenue per available seat mile for the current quarter.

Spirit Airlines was initially slightly higher, after its posting of preliminary July traffic on Monday indicated an 18.4 percent increase in revenue passenger miles compared to July 2015. Spirit shares later reversed and ended the day slightly lower.

United Continental Holdings' shares, however, fell more than 1 percent Tuesday, after the company said it expects third quarter consolidated passenger unit revenue to fall by 5.5 to 7.5 percent, compared to the same quarter in 2015.

United posted July traffic numbers on Monday that revenue passenger miles had increased 1.2 percent compared to July of 2015.

In American's July traffic report released Tuesday, the Texas-based company said it projects its third-quarter total revenue per available seat mile to be down by roughly 3 to 5 percent year over year, better than previous guidance for a 3.5 to 5.5 percent decline.

The company also reported total revenue passenger miles down 0.3 percent versus July of 2015.

Despite the uptick in trading, shares of American Airlines are down 18 percent since Jan. 1.

Shares of the discount airliner Spirit are up about 2 percent this year, while United Airlines' shares are down more than 16 percent in the same period.

America Airlines in 2016

Spirit Airlines in 2016

United Airlines in 2016