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Major defense stocks surge to all-time highs after Trump's tough rhetoric against North Korea

Tae Kim
U.S. Navy | Reuters. Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon all hit new record highs Wednesday morning following President Donald Trump's verbal threat to North Korea.

There is one Trump trade still working even as some on Wall Street fret the White House is

getting "nothing done."

Defense stocks rallied a day after President Donald Trump

warned that threats

from North Korea "will be met with fire and fury" on Tuesday. The gain in the stocks came as the rest of the market fell on concerns about increased geopolitical tensions in the area.

Lockheed Martin

(NYSE: LMT)

, Northrop Grumman

(NYSE: NOC)

and Raytheon

(NYSE: RTN)

all hit new all-time highs Wednesday morning, rising 1.1 percent, 1.1 percent and 1.9 percent respectively. Raytheon and Lockheed helped to build the THAAD missile defense system in the Asian region.

Even before Wednesday, many of the large defense stocks were already up by double-digit percentages for the year based on expectations for an improved outlook for U.S. defense spending under the Trump administration.

The White House

proposed

a nearly 10 percent increase in the military budget to $603 billion for fiscal 2018 in February.

"This budget will be a public safety and national security budget," Trump said on Feb. 27. He called for a "historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it."

The SPDR S&P Aerospace and Defense ETF

(NYSE Arca: XAR)

is up 29 percent since the Nov. 8 election through Tuesday compared with the S&P 500's 16 percent return during the same period.

— CNBC's Jeff Daniels contributed to this story.

There is one Trump trade still working even as some on Wall Street fret the White House is

getting "nothing done."

Defense stocks rallied a day after President Donald Trump

warned that threats

from North Korea "will be met with fire and fury" on Tuesday. The gain in the stocks came as the rest of the market fell on concerns about increased geopolitical tensions in the area.

Lockheed Martin

(NYSE: LMT)

, Northrop Grumman

(NYSE: NOC)

and Raytheon

(NYSE: RTN)

all hit new all-time highs Wednesday morning, rising 1.1 percent, 1.1 percent and 1.9 percent respectively. Raytheon and Lockheed helped to build the THAAD missile defense system in the Asian region.

Even before Wednesday, many of the large defense stocks were already up by double-digit percentages for the year based on expectations for an improved outlook for U.S. defense spending under the Trump administration.

The White House

proposed

a nearly 10 percent increase in the military budget to $603 billion for fiscal 2018 in February.

"This budget will be a public safety and national security budget," Trump said on Feb. 27. He called for a "historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it."

The SPDR S&P Aerospace and Defense ETF

(NYSE Arca: XAR)

is up 29 percent since the Nov. 8 election through Tuesday compared with the S&P 500's 16 percent return during the same period.

— CNBC's Jeff Daniels contributed to this story.



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