Defense companies, which have suffered mightily on the stock markets of late, took a sharp upturn, led by General Dynamics Corp.
, which posted strong earnings last Wednesday and was upgraded by brokerage SG Cowen Thursday
. Shares of General Dynamics, builder of the Seawolf submarine
and M-1 tank, as well as Gulfstream corporate jets, gained as much as 5-1/8 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange
, before settling back to 55-3/4, up 3-3/4. Exchange. A spate of aerospace- and defense-related companies posted earnings that mostly beat Wall Street expectations Wednesday, including commercial aircraft and defense giant Boeing Co.
and United Technologies Corp.
, which makes engines and helicopters, but also elevators and air conditioning systems
Shares of Raytheon (RTN1.SG)
, which reported earnings Wednesday that met lowered expectations amid the sale of a money-losing unit, gained 1-1/8, to 20-13/16. Lockheed, which has restructured, cut costs and put units up for sale as it strives to return to earnings growth, gained 1-1/8 to 22.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter analysts Heidi Wood raised
her rating on Boeing Thursday
to strong buy from outperform, citing a possible upturn in deliveries, rising cash flow, and better-than-expected earnings. Boeing shares gained 1-9/16, to 38-3/4. Shares of Northrop Grumman Corp., which like Lockheed is set to report earnings next week, gained 2-1/4, to 66-1/8. Litton Industries gained 3/4, to 41-3/16, and Newport News, another combat-ship maker, gained 3/4, to 31-3/16.