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After Saudi arms deal, defense shares fly

FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2017, file photo, a Lockheed Martin F-35A Lighting II from the 323 Squadron, Royal Netherlands Air Force flies through the nicknamed Star Wars Canyon on the Jedi transition in Death Valley National Park, Calif. Shares of three major U.S. defense contractors are hitting all-time highs, Monday, May 22, 2017, in the first day of trading after President Donald Trump bestowed Saudi Arabia with a $110 billion arms deal. The deal, which could expand up to $350 billion over 10 years, sent shares of Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and Raytheon Co. to unprecedented heights. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of the three major U.S. defense contractors rose to all-time highs in the first day of trading after President Donald Trump bestowed Saudi Arabia with a $110 billion arms deal.

The agreement, which could expand up to $350 billion over 10 years, sent shares of Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and Raytheon Co. to unprecedented heights. The sale surpasses the total amount offered during Barack Obama’s presidency and appeared to reverse his decision to limit sales of precision-guided munitions there after a Saudi airstrike on a funeral in Yemen killed more than 140 people.

Shares of the three aerospace and defense companies have far outpaced the Standard & Poor’s 500 index since the election.

Lockheed Martin rose $4.24, or 1.6 percent, to close Monday at $277.03. And Raytheon added 91 cents, a little under 1 percent, to $161.19.

Northrop Grumman, however, ended the day down 43 cents at $249.45 after peaking at $254 earlier in the day.

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