Defense stocks rise as Trump says the US is 'locked and loaded' in response to Saudi oil attack

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U.S. Soldiers talk after a routine inspection of a Patriot missile battery at a Turkish military base in Gaziantep, Turkey.

Department of Defense photo

Shares of defense companies rose on Monday after the United States military was put on alert by President Donald Trump following drone attacks on oil production in Saudi Arabia.

Trump said in a tweet on Sunday that the “there is reason to believe we know the culprit” behind the attacks, adding that the United States is “locked and loaded depending on verification.”

The S&P 500 Aerospace and Defense index rose as much as 0.4%, with shares of L3Harris and Raytheon leading the gains with increases of about 2% each. Lockheed Martin‘s stock also climbed 0.8%, while Northrup Grumman rose 0.6%. The gains came as the broader stock market declined.

“This is more a missile defense play,” Jefferies analyst Sheila Kahyaoglu told CNBC. “This highlights the continuous need for air defense missile systems and Lockheed and Raytheon are the biggest beneficiaries of that.”

Half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production was stopped due to huge fires that broke out after attacks by as many as 10 aerial drones. Yemen’s Houthi rebels took credit for the attacks but U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of launching “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply,” he said.

“There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen,” Pompeo said.

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