‘If You Are Wondering Who Benefits’: Weapons Makers See Stocks Surge as Trump Moves Closer to War with Iran
MILITARISM, 13 Jan 2020
Jake Johnson | Common Dreams – TRANSCEND Media Service
“Stocks for weapons manufacturers began to rise as soon as Soleimani was killed,” said Rep. Ro Khanna.
4 Jan 2020 – Almost immediately after the United States assassinated Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike Thursday [2 Jan] night, major American weapons manufacturers and defense contractors—from Northrop Grumman to Lockheed Martin to Raytheon—saw their stocks surge as investors sensed the growing likelihood of another costly and deadly war in the Middle East.
As the Los Angeles Times reported, “Even as the broader Standard and Poor’s 500 index lost ground, the S&P Aerospace & Defense Select Industry index climbed 1.8% on Friday.”
According to the Times:
Northrop Grumman Corp. stock jumped 5.4%. Based in Falls Church, Va., Northrop Grumman makes such aircraft as the B-2 bomber and the upcoming B-21 bomber and is the sole bidder to build the next generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles.
AeroVironment Inc. advanced 6.9%. The Simi Valley company makes small, short-range reconnaissance drones that U.S. soldiers use. The increase in troop deployment to the Middle East could mean more business for AeroVironment, said Ken Herbert, managing director with investment banking and financial services firm Canaccord Genuity.
Shares of Lockheed Martin Corp., which makes the F-35 fighter jet, climbed 3.6%. Missile and radar technologies maker Raytheon Co.’s stock rose 1.5%.
The surge in defense stocks was readily highlighted on corporate television programs like Fox Business and in publications like Investor’s Business Daily, which noted that “Northrop Grumman (NOC) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) were big winners in Friday’s stock market trading, along with Raytheon stock.”
Citigroup analyst Jonathan Raviv wrote Friday that “if Middle East conflict were to ratchet up…we think it could be tougher for Democratic Party electoral candidates to argue against a stronger defense budget in 2020.”
“As is always the unfortunate case, defense stocks tend to benefit from perceptions of heightened risk and the potential for geopolitical conflict,” Raviv added.
hi hi just your daily reminder that our country is in a military-industrial stranglehold and everyone trying to sell you war this morning is a key player https://t.co/e20DAbNbev
— savannah wooten (she/her) (@SavannahEWooten) January 3, 2020
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who along with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) unveiled legislation to stop Pentagon funding for U.S. military action against Iran, tweeted late Friday that “if you are wondering who benefits from endless wars, take a look at how stocks for weapons manufacturers began to rise as soon as Soleimani was killed.”
“Defense contractors spent $84 million lobbying Congress last year,” Khanna noted, “and it certainly wasn’t to promote diplomacy and restraint.”
Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams.
Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.
Go to Original – commondreams.org
Tags: Arms Industry, Arms Trade, Capitalism, Economics, Iran, Military, Military Industrial Complex, NATO, Pentagon, Trade, Trump, US Military, USA, Violence, Wall Street, War, Weapons, West
DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.