Major Defense Stocks Surge amid Middle East Tensions
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Major Defense Stocks Surge amid Middle East Tensions

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Tensions in the Middle East have sent defense stocks higher this week.

After a lackluster first half in 2023, major defense names, including Northrop (NYSE:NOC), L3Harris (NYSE:LHX), and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), are back in the spotlight as the Middle East heats up.

An unprovoked attack from Hamas on Israel resulted in a heavy number of deaths this weekend. The aggression led to Israel declaring war and activating nearly 300,000 reservists. The U.S. has dispatched an aircraft carrier to Israel and has begun delivering munitions to the country.

These rapid developments led to gains of nearly 11%,10%, and 9% in NOC, LHX, and LMT shares, respectively, yesterday. Last year, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also led to a jump in major defense names.

What is the Best Defense Stock?

As Israel continues to bombard Hamas positions in the aftermath of the attack, shares of NOC, LHX, and LMT are putting on further price gains in the pre-market session today. The iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF (ITA) has also shown a knee-jerk reaction, nearly wiping out this year’s price decline. Meanwhile, the Street sees a substantial 19.8% potential upside in LHX, based on a Moderate Buy consensus rating accompanied by a $215.83 consensus price target.

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