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Expand chart
Data: Money.net; Chart: Axios Visuals

Defense sector stocks have predictably seen major buying since the killing of Iran Gen. Qasem Soleimani, in particular Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin.

Why it matters: The gains may not be temporary, analysts say.

  • “These companies all have large portfolios of products and capabilities that will be in high demand from both their domestic and regional markets," GlobalData's head of research for strategic defense Daniel Jones says.
  • “These gains will likely be sustained in the near term, given how politically untenable it will be to reduce defense expenditure at a time of heightened tensions during an election year.”

Plus, Moody's projected a bullish year for the sector in its 2020 outlook, expecting it to outperform the broader stock market, even before tensions between the U.S. and Iran flared.

  • Analysts outlined an expectation for commercial aircraft deliveries to ramp up and defense spending to grow, thanks to major spending increases from the Trump administration.
  • The grounding of Boeing's 737 MAX also weighed down 2019's earnings, providing space for a strong recovery in the sector.
  • "Our profit growth forecast excluding Boeing is 7% in 2020 and 6% in 2021," analysts wrote in December.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
1 min ago - Economy & Business

The biggest obstacle to a wealth tax

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Taxing the rich is an idea that's back. An "ultra-millionaire tax" introduced by Elizabeth Warren and other left-wing Democrats this week would raise more than $3 trillion over 10 years, they say, while making the tax system as a whole more fair.

Why it matters: New taxes would be a necessary part of any Democratic plan to redistribute wealth and reduce inequality. But President Biden has more urgent priorities — and Warren's wealth tax in particular faces constitutional obstacles that make it a hard sell.

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.