Gun stocks traded higher on Monday after protests surrounding the death of George Floyd resulted in the arrests of nearly 1,700 people in 22 different U.S. cities over the stretch of three days.
Peaceful protests devolved into chaos in certain areas around the country. In New York City, 33 police officers were injured and 47 police vehicles were either damaged or destroyed. At least one person was shot and killed related to protests in both Indianapolis and in Kentucky. More than 40 cities imposed curfews over the weekend, and the National Guard was activated in at least 26 states.
Investors seem to be betting that the violent protests will at least temporarily provide a bump for gun sales. The COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent economic shutdown had already pushed U.S. gun sales to record highs even prior to the Floyd protests.
The chaos has been so bad that companies like Apple, Inc. AAPL, Amazon.com, Inc.AMZN and Target Corporation TGT have all scaled back their business operations in the cities hardest hit by the protests.
Gun stocks and several other stocks related to police surveillance and security were on the move on Monday morning:
- Digital Ally, Inc. DGLY was up 101.7%.
- Sturm Ruger & Company Inc RGR was up 8.3%.
- ADT Inc ADT was up 11.5%.
- Axon Enterprise Inc AAXN was up 13.1%.
- American Outdoor Brands Corporation AOBC was up 9.5%.
It’s likely the COVID-19 outbreak, the economic shutdown, and shelter-in-place orders already had many Americans on edge, and Floyd’s death was the tipping point that triggered the outbreak of violence and vandalism.
Gun stocks and gun sales could continue to trend higher given divisive political rhetoric will certainly dominate the headlines between now and the November election.
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