Paris Attacks Could Mean Big Profits For Weapons Companies

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Most of the world has suffered from the Paris terror attacks. Over 100 people are dead, hundreds are wounded, and their friends and families are suffering the direct effects of the attack. Many more people across the world feel newly unsafe, huge numbers of terrorized refugees may be denied safe harbor, and innocent people across the world are likely to be threatened, attacked, and killed in retribution for a crime that they also oppose.

But one winner to come out of the chaos and terror has been the industry that develops and sells the most advanced tools for destruction that the world has ever seen. While the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose just 1.37 percent since the world learned of the Paris attacks, weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin’s stock price rose 4.2 percent, and the French weapons company Thales gained a whopping 7.75 percent. Raytheon posted its second-largest gain of the last three years Monday.

Financial publications attributed these gains to the increased likelihood of a ‘War on ISIS,’ something that would doubtlessly result in more government contracts for the companies supply Tomahawk missiles (Raytheon), Hellfire missiles (Lockheed), and drones (AVAV). Meanwhile, the French stock market grew slightly since the attacks, but saw declines in stocks related to tourism and travel. It is still unclear what the long-term economic effects of the attacks will be, as the entirety of the financial and political damage will take months or years to unfold.


CREDIT: Andrew Breiner

This isn’t the first time weapons companies have seen big gains from tragedy. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, share prices of the same companies that are gaining now surged. While the Dow Jones had recovered and was positive compared to the same time the previous year by April 2002, a CNN report found that without the inclusion of several large weapons companies, it would have still been negative.