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Why Maxar Technologies Stock Just Popped 18%

By Rich Smith – Updated May 22, 2020 at 12:16PM

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Maxar is piggybacking on general interest in space tech.

What happened

Shares of satellite builder and satellite photography company Maxar Technologies (MAXR 2.27%), which reported Q1 2020 earnings 10 days ago (and got punished for it), are making up all their losses (and more) today, as the stock soared 17.8% in 12:30 p.m. EDT afternoon trading.

Curiously, there seems to be no news behind the move.

Artist's rendering of SpaceX Crew Dragon docking with ISS.

Image source: SpaceX.

So what

No earnings guidance for the rest of this year, no analyst reports, either positive or negative -- not so much as a price target change on Wall Street. Nothing. There's no news at all behind today's move so far as I can see...except for maybe one thing.

On Wednesday, May 27, space launch company SpaceX is scheduled to launch its Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station, with actual astronauts on board this time. This will be the first time that America has launched astronauts into space in a U.S.-built rocket ship, launching from U.S. territory, since the Space Shuttle program was shut down in 2011. It will also be the first time ever that a private company has been employed to send humans into orbit.

Now what

This is an event of historical significance, and it's going to grab a lot of eyeballs across the country and around the world. Logically, interest in space -- and space investing -- could get a boost from next week's launch, and investors could begin hunting around for space companies to invest in.

When they do, they're going to discover that there are in fact only a very few space companies that are publicly traded -- and that SpaceX isn't one of them. But they'll also discover that Maxar Technologies is one of those few, and in discovering that fact, they might decide to invest in Maxar Technologies stock.

Investors today appear to be front-running that discovery and buying Maxar stock before the excitement begins.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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