Kyle Rittenhouse Found Not Guilty In Wisconsin Shooting; Gun And Body Armor Stocks Jump

Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted Friday of all charges tied to the killing of two unarmed men during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year.

The verdict generated volatility in firearm and body armor stocks, as some traders anticipate more civil unrest following the verdict.

What Happened: The 17-year-old Rittenhouse fatally shot Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum with an AR-15-style rifle during the civil unrest following the shooting of Jacob Blake in August 2020. On Friday, a jury found Rittenhouse not guilty on five charges tied to the shooting, including homicide and reckless endangerment.

Related Link: How Do Gun Stocks Respond In The Days And Weeks After Mass Shootings?

Why It’s Important: The Rittenhouse trial gained a lot of national media attention because it centered on the hot-button issues of gun control and self-defense.

Rittenhouse’s attorney said the fatal shooting was self-defense, while prosecutors argued that Rittenhouse was responsible for creating the dangerous situation. Rittenhouse has also become a hero to some pro-gun conservatives.

In anticipation of potential violence in response to the trial verdict, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers placed 50 National Guard members on standby in Kenosha last week.

Shares of several gun and body armor stocks reacted to Friday’s Rittenhouse verdict:

  • Smith & Wesson Brands Inc SWBI shares were up 3.1%.
  • Digital Ally, Inc. DGLY shares were up 11.1%.
  • Wrap Technologies Inc WRAP shares were up 2.5%.
  • Sturm Ruger & Company Inc RGR shares were up 2.4%.

Benzinga’s Take: Traders may see the Rittenhouse verdict and subsequent civil unrest as a potential trading opportunity in these gun and body armor stocks, but the verdict is unlikely to create any meaningful, lasting value for these companies.

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