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7 Apr, 2017 21:18

Tomahawk maker’s stock jumps 3% after US strike in Syria

Tomahawk maker’s stock jumps 3% after US strike in Syria

Raytheon, the company that makes the Tomahawk missiles used in the US air strike against Syria airbase by the US, saw its stock price rise in early trading, while sliding in the afternoon.

Defense and energy stocks moved higher Friday, with Tomahawk missile-maker Raytheon Corp. a key gainer, as investors seem to be betting that President Trump’s decision may mean the Pentagon will need more Tomahawks, according to CNN Money.

“Raytheon RTN, +1.70% the maker of the Tomahawk missiles that were used in the attack, was last up 0.8%, after jumping more than 3% in the premarket to lead S&P 500 gainers,”reported MarketWatch.com

The Department of Defense asked for $2 billion over five years to buy 4,000 Tomahawks for the US Navy in its fiscal 2017 budget last February.

The missile has been a key tool of the Defense Department’s arsenal for the last 25 years, according to the Military Times. They are designed to fly at low altitudes with speeds up to 550 miles per hour, giving them a strong defense against anti-aircraft measures. The 3,500 explosives also contain a guidance system that can be tailored to provide further evasive capabilities.

Raytheon is the sole supplier of the cruise missile, which comes with a high price tag.
Todd Harrison, director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, estimated the replacement cost of the Tomahawks used against Syria will total about $89 million, according to Military Times.

Nearly five dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched at military bases in Syria from US warships in the Mediterranean Sea late Thursday.

Stocks did keep their early gains however, as the US government jobs report said the economy added 98,000 jobs in March, well below expectations for 185,000 jobs.

President Donald Trump said the military operation was in response to a “barbaric” chemical weapons attack in Syria earlier week that killed dozens of civilians.

Consortium News' Robert Perry reported a number of intelligence sources contradicted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said the US intelligence community assessed with a “high degree of confidence” that the Syrian government had dropped a poison gas bomb on civilians in Idlib province.

Those intelligence sources told Perry "the preponderance of evidence suggests that Al Qaeda-affiliated rebels were at fault, either by orchestrating an intentional release of a chemical agent as a provocation or by possessing containers of poison gas that ruptured during a conventional bombing raid." 

Trump said the missile strike was of “vital national security interest” to the US, without elaborating on the ambiguous statement over whether that meant economic security, energy security, or environmental security.

The Syrian government said the attacks caused heavy damage to Shayrat air base near Homs, and led to multiple casualties.

President Donald Trump had indicated a possibility of a policy shift toward Syria during a press conference on Wednesday, after the chemical attack. No formal investigation has begun into the attack, although autopsy results on some of the 70 victims revealed the use of Sarin gas.