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Chart of the Day / Trump Effect: Why You Should Pay Attention to $750 Billion Defense Budget

Trump Effect: Why You Should Pay Attention to $750 Billion Defense Budget

March 21, 2019

President Donald Trump seems to have the Midas touch.

A mere mention of infrastructure, cybersecurity, biotech, and even defense is enough to boost related stocks. There’s no doubt about that. We’ve seen it with our own eyes.

For example, in mid-2017, defense stocks rallied after the president signed a weapons deal with Saudi Arabia worth nearly $350 billion over the next decade.

  • Raytheon (RTN) ran from $156 to $210
  • Boeing (BA) ran from $175 to nearly $350
  • General Dynamics (GD) ran from $191 to $230
  • Northrop Grumman (NOC) ran from $243 to nearly $345

Days after that, the president asked for a $668 billion defense budget for 2018.

That money would be used to fund the Department of Defense’s budget to $574.6 billion, buy up to six new ships, fighter jets, KC-46 air tankers, and help grow the U.S. military by another 56,000 service members. The news sent related defense stocks even higher.

Then, in early March 2019, the president said he would submit a budget to Congress that included a request for $750 billion for fiscal year 2020. As a result, stocks like Boeing have since jumped from about $365 to $380 on the news.

General Dynamics has run from about $165 to $170.

Other stocks like Raytheon and Northrop Grumman remain flat on the news so far. But we expect that to change as we near a decision on a finalized defense budget.

Within the budget, more than $718 billion of that would go to the Pentagon — a year-over-year increase of $34 billion. That includes $31 billion to modernize our nuclear facilities, in addition to funding for a Virginia-class submarine and 78 F-35 jets from Lockheed Martin.

The president also requested $13.6 billion to upgrade existing missile defenses and begin the development of space-based weapons to counter hypersonic missile threats. After all, Russia has a missile that can travel at nearly two miles a second or 6,138 miles an hour. That’s unstoppable — even with today’s air defense systems.