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Boeing stock drops on report of FBI joining 737 Max probe

CNBC logo CNBC 3/20/2019 Dawn Kopecki and Leslie Josephs

Shares of Boeing fell in after-hours trading Wednesday on news that the FBI has reportedly joined in a criminal investigation of the certification process for the company’s 737 Max jets, two of which have crashed since October killing 346 people.

The Seattle Times reported that the agency is assisting federal aviation investigators in a federal grand jury probe based in Washington, D.C., looking into the process. Boeing’s shares were down less than 1 percent.

The news comes after the Department of Transportation on Tuesday asked the agency’s watchdog to audit the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval of Boeing’s 737 Max 8 aircraft.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao sent a memo to Calvin Scovel, the department’s inspector general, formalizing the request.

Boeing and the FAA, which certified the plane two years ago, are under increasing scrutiny after the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, which went down shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 people on board. Investigators who have extracted data from the airliner’s black boxes said they detected “clear similarities ” between the Ethiopian Airlines flight and a crash in Indonesia in October that killed all 189 on board.

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