After Saudi arms deal, defense shares fly

Markets Associated Press

Shares of the three major U.S. defense contractors rose to all-time highs in the first day of trading after President Donald Trump bestowed Saudi Arabia with a $110 billion arms deal.

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The agreement, which could expand up to $350 billion over 10 years, sent shares of Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and Raytheon Co. to unprecedented heights. The sale surpasses the total amount offered during Barack Obama's presidency and appeared to reverse his decision to limit sales of precision-guided munitions there after a Saudi airstrike on a funeral in Yemen killed more than 140 people.

Shares of the three aerospace and defense companies have far outpaced the Standard & Poor's 500 index since the election.

Lockheed Martin rose $4.24, or 1.6 percent, to close Monday at $277.03. And Raytheon added 91 cents, a little under 1 percent, to $161.19.

Northrop Grumman, however, ended the day down 43 cents at $249.45 after peaking at $254 earlier in the day.