Syria Attacks Light Up Dow Stock, Defense Names

The U.S. military’s late Thursday airstrikes on Syria lit up defense stocks including Raytheon (RTN), which makes the Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from the Mediterranean Sea.

Each Tomahawk cruise missile costs over $1.5 million and the weapon was first used in the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq. Raytheon also makes the Patriot ground-based air defense system.

Raytheon surged 3% before paring its gain by half, but closed above its 50-day moving average and a 152.68 flat-base buy point. That put the stock back in buy range.

Among other aerospace/defense stocks, Lockheed Martin (LMT) also reclaimed a buy point as it finished 1.2% higher to just above the 270 entry. Lockheed makes the Paveway II Plus laser guided bomb. Northrop Grumman (NOC) added 0.9%, but hit resistance at its 50-day line as it builds a handle on a cup base with a 249.53 entry.

Dow component Boeing (BA), which makes joint direct attack munitions kits that turn dumb bombs into smart weapons, edged 0.8% higher as it shapes a flat base with a 185.81 buy point. Of the four aerospace/defense stocks, Boeing has the highest Composite Rating of 89.

The U.S. military has favored smart precision weapons that reduce the number of civilian casualties and unintended targets in the fight against the Islamic State.

Aerospace was ranked No. 12 among IBD’s 33 sectors ahead of Friday’s bump. The sector has risen more than 5% since the start of the year. The aerospace/defense industry group, up 0.7% Friday, soared 19% from the Nov. 8 presidential election to its March 1 peak. It’s still up about 14%.