Weapons manufacturers have seen stocks surge amid the war between Israel and Hamas. But so have oil companies.
Most people don’t benefit from wars or, certainly, from the prospect of broader regional conflicts. But a rare few do, notably the executives of companies that manufacture weapons. After Hamas militants began attacking southern Israel on October 7—and Israel promptly began another, even more brutal assault on the Gaza Strip—the value of stocks in Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman surged.
That makes sense. Conflicts, particularly those involving U.S. allies, feed demand for the things that weapons manufacturers make—tactical missiles, fighter aircraft, artillery, etc. Analysts surveyed by the business press were relatively muted about short-term prospects of a rally in defense stocks, although some were optimistic in the longer run.