2 Defense Stocks Hitting Record Highs

RTX and NOC are both seeing unusually bullish options activity

Deputy Editor
Feb 28, 2022 at 10:50 AM
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Raytheon Technologies Corp (NYSE:RTX) and Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) are both higher this morning, as investors ramp up their interest in defense stocks following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing pledge by the European Union (EU). Specifically, EU countries promised to increase defense spending, with Germany taking the lead by vowing to channel around $113 billion, or 100 billion euros, this year into its military.

Raytheon Technologies stock was last seen 3.8% higher to trade at a new all-time high of $101.94. The shares were already seeing returns on what's shaped up to be the biggest military conflict on European soil since World War II, with RTX logging a record close of $98.12 on Friday. In 2022, the stock is up more than 18%.

Call traders are blasting Raytheon Technologies stock in response to today's positive price action. Already, 31,000 calls have crossed the tape in RTX's usually quiet options pits. That number is 10 times the typical intraday amount, and the most popular contract is the weekly 3/4 110-strike call, where new positions are being bought to open. 

Northrop Grumman stock, meanwhile, is trading at fresh high as well, up 6.4% at $435.69 at last check. Friday's session saw NOC score an all-time closing high of $409.67 after bouncing off the 10-day moving average. This positive price action has the stock up over 12% year-to-date. 

NOC is seeing a similarly bullish response, with 2,615 calls exchanged so far -- six times what is typically seen at this point. The weekly 3/4 420-strike call is the most popular, followed up by the 420 call in the monthly March series.


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