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Why Axon, Nucor, and Balchem Stocks Popped 10% on Friday

By Rich Smith - Mar 15, 2020 at 11:03AM

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Investors bought stocks of all stripes on Friday.

What happened

Axon Enterprise (AXON 0.83%). Nucor (NUE -0.61%). Balchem Corporation (BCPC 1.53%).

What do a stun gun maker, a steel company, and a producer of "powders, blended lipid systems [and] juice and dairy bases" have in common? Obviously not much, but these three stocks did have one big thing in common on Friday:

They all went up in a big way.

Three colorful arrows racing straight up on a black background

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Following President Trump's declaration of a "national emergency" verging on a war against microbes Friday, shares of Axon, Nucor, and Balchem jumped 10.1%, 12.8%, and 11.7%, respectively.

It's not entirely clear why these three stocks in particular would react so positively to the President's announcement. The measures described to solve the "national emergency" affected primarily medical pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies and the energy industry.

None of the three companies named above had any other news of note to report for the day, and only one of them -- Balchem -- has any operations directly touching on the industries named in the President's address. (And even at Balchem, the divisions producing chemicals for sterilizing medical equipment, and for assisting in hydraulic "fracking" of shale oil, produce less than 20% of the company's total annual revenues).

Rather, it appears that the stocks' rise Friday was more a result of general ebullience that the government is finally planning to "do something" (and will do more later), than out of any conviction that the government is doing something for these companies in particular.

Now what

That hope for further government action got confirmed over the weekend, when the House of Representatives passed legislation offering free coronavirus testing, paid sick leave and family and medical leave, improvements to unemployment insurance benefits, and more social spending on food stamps, Medicaid, and other programs for low-income Americans.  

Assuming these measures are enacted into law (and that could happen as soon as Monday), they'd both supplement the measures announced by the President on Friday, and help to shore up consumer finances, so that folks can continue to buy the things they need over the next few weeks of nationwide "self-quarantine" and "social distancing."

Again, this won't have any direct benefit to the businesses of Axon, Nucor, or Balchem. But if it results in greater consumer (and investor) confidence, it could help to keep their stocks rebounding regardless.

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Stocks Mentioned

Axon Enterprise Stock Quote
Axon Enterprise
$99.40 (0.83%) $0.82
Nucor Corporation Stock Quote
Nucor Corporation
$119.97 (-0.61%) $0.74
Balchem Corporation Stock Quote
Balchem Corporation
$120.52 (1.53%) $1.82

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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