Business

Nuclear Weapons Manufacturers See Stock Prices Rise Amid Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

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Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, many defense stocks have skyrocketed.

A March 2022 analyst note from Citi predicts that the "defense [sector] is likely to be increasingly seen as a necessity that facilitates ESG as an enterprise, as well as maintaining peace, stability and other social goods."

Defense companies secure billions of dollars every year from government contracts to maintain and construct nuclear weapons.

Many of these companies like Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are publicly traded, which means they have millions of shareholders and investors.

"We've seen even the biggest defense contractors in the world will change their business with pressure from the investment community," said Susi Snyder, financial sector coordinator at the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. "And that pressure comes from everyday investors."

The Congressional Budget Office projects that the U.S. government could spend $634 billion between 2021 and 2030 on nuclear forces. This is a $140 billion increase from the previous estimate of $494 billion between 2019 and 2028.

"What's going on in Ukraine reminds us [that] sometimes you need at least non-nuclear weapons," said David Epstein, a former Wall Street analyst who now focuses on reducing the risks of nuclear weapons through his Cross Capital Initiative. "I think it reminds folks that these defense companies do a lot of different things and at least conventional weapons help defend democracy and the well-being of the free world."

Here are some of the companies that are profiting off of nuclear weapons and how the investor community feels about it.

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