Shares of industrial stocks tracked the broad market higher with defense stocks leading the way while materials and manufacturers trailed close behind as investors reckoned President-elect Donald Trump will focus on strengthening the U.S. military ahile punishing foreign raw materials and consumer goods with tarrifs.
Lockheed Martin ( (LMT) ) rose almost 6%, Raytheon added 7.5%, and other defense contractors including Northrop Grumman ( (NOC) ) and General Dynamics (GD) rose more than 5% each on the prospect of a Trump presidency and, as importantly, Republican control of both houses of Congress. Cowen & Co. analyst Roman Schweizer ahead of the vote said that defense spending was likely to increase no matter who won the White House, but the makeup of Congress would determine how easily a budget deal is reached and what spending it contained.
Among the losers in the pre-market was Kansas City Southern ( (KSU) ), which fell 11%. The railroad gets about half of its revenue from Mexico and could be impacted if Trump follows through on his anti-NAFTA rhetoric. The election and fears of a slowdown in Mexico also make KSU a less likely takeover target. Railroads CSX ( (CSX) ), Norfolk Southern ( (NSC) ) and Umnion Pacific all also rallied. Large transport firms were mixed as United Parcel Service ( (UPS) ) closed up 1.5% and FedEx ( (FDX) ) slipped 0.1%.
General Motors ( (GM) ) and Ford ( (F) ), two targets of Trump due to their production in Mexico, each traded down about 2%, while the airlines all rose between 0.5% and 1.5%. Boeing ( (BA) ), which has both a major defense arm and on the commercial side is a huge exporter, rose 2%.
Further, Reuters reported Wednesday morning that GM is laying off 2,000 workrs and cutting back a third shift at two midwest factories. The action, to be taken in early 2017, according to the report, affects GM's Lordstown, Ohio and Lansing, Michigan plants.
General Motors fell further during the trading session, down nearly 4%, and auto suppliers including Delphi Automotive ( (DLPH) ) and BorgWarner ( (BWA) ) fell 6.5% and 3.8% respectively. GM on Wednesday issued a statement congratulating Trump and Hillary Clinton on a hard-fought race, saying the company "looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and the new Congress on policies that support a strong and competitive U.S. manufacturing base."
CFRA Research equity analyst Efraim Levy in a note Wednesday said he believes the fear surrounding the auto sector is overblown.
"Despite the legislative advantages of having a Republican-controlled Congress, we expect a moderation of tone once in office," Levy wrote. "Even with some potential tariff costs to automakers, we believe GM and Ford will have time to flex production and regional sales to mitigate the impact."
Other major exporters were mixed. General Electric ( (GE) ) rose 0.7%, while Caterpillar ( (CAT) ) traded up almost 8% and Alcoa ( (AA) ) added 9%. Chemicals giants (and merger partners) DuPont ( (DD) ) and Dow Chemical ( (DOW) ) each rose about 1%.
TheStreet founder Jim Cramer during a live Facebook broadcast from the newsroom Wednesday morning said that "globalization is on hold" while markets and businesses digest the surprise election results, with companies that need foreign markets for growth likely to pause as well.