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Gun maker stocks boosted

UPDATED: Thu., June 23, 2022

Shares of gun manufacturers surged Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court established the right to carry firearms in New York, signaling a favorable outcome for the industry in the aftermath of recent mass shootings with calls for more restrictive gun control laws.

Smith & Wesson Brands led the rally, jumping as much as 7.6% to a session high after the decision was made to strike down a New York law that required people to show a special need to carry a handgun in public.

Sturm Ruger & Co. climbed as much as 4.4% and Ammo advanced 4.3%, while Vista Outdoor gained 4.6%.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul weighed in on the decision calling the ruling “frightening” and added that it takes away the right to protect citizens.

The ruling was the court’s biggest gun-rights decision in more than a decade.

The decision follows recent mass shootings that left a total of more than 30 people dead at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store and an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school.

The Senate is moving toward approving new gun-safety measures in response to those killings.

Stocks tied to weapons and ammunitions manufacturers are typically bought individually because there are few indexes and exchange-traded funds that hold them as a group, and many institutions are restricted from buying them.

In most cases, funds that specialize in munitions primarily hold large federal contractors like Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies.

Jobless requests drop slightly

Applications for unemployment insurance in the U.S. last week plateaued near a five-month high, suggesting tightness in the labor market may be starting to ease.

Initial unemployment claims decreased by 2,000 to 229,000 in the week ended June 18, Labor Department data showed Thursday.

The prior week’s figure was revised up slightly. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 226,000 applications.

The jobless claims four-week moving average, a measure which smooths out some of the volatility in the series, increased to 223,500, the highest since late January.

While the labor market remains strong and unemployment low, there are some signs of softening.

Several companies, including JPMorgan Chase and Coinbase Global Inc., have announced layoffs in recent weeks.

Meantime, recession fears are growing after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by the most since 1994 and signaled further tightening in an effort to tame inflation.

On an unadjusted basis, initial claims also fell slightly. Applications decreased in Illinois and Florida, while increasing in Michigan.

Continuing claims for state benefits were also little changed at 1.32 million in the week ended June 11.

From wire reports

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