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Why Shares of General Electric Are Up Today

By Lou Whiteman - Jan 6, 2021 at 3:42PM

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The company's turnaround would likely benefit from any fresh spending coming out of Washington.

What happened

Shares of General Electric ( GE -2.10% ) traded up more than 5% on Wednesday afternoon, joining a broader market rally following a Georgia Senate election that should mean the end of the 2020 U.S. political season. The market believes a Democratic sweep in Georgia could lead to a boost in infrastructure and green energy spending, and that's helping to give GE a lift.

So what

After a difficult few years, General Electric appears to be slowly getting its house back in order, and there are some strong potential tailwinds that should lift the stock higher in 2021.

A chart going up.

Image source: Getty Images.

Its massive aviation business should see some recovery as a COVID-19 vaccine becomes widespread and airlines see an uptick in demand. And its wind turbines and other renewable energy business is likely to be a beneficiary if the Democrats, as expected, push forward with incentives to lessen the nation's reliance on fossil fuels.

It all adds up to the potential for increased revenue at a time when GE is trying to pay down its massive debtload amassed during a period in which the conglomerate made a number of ill-fated acquisitions. GE is now under new management and has a restructuring plan in place. A Washington-induced revenue boost should help turn that plan into a reality.

Now what

Long-time GE shareholders have endured a decade of misery, with the shares down more than 62% over the past five years. For the first time in nearly a decade it feels like GE is moving in the right direction, but investors should be warned there is still a multi-year recovery ahead.

I'm not ready to buy in yet, but GE is looking more intriguing by the day. There is still an impressive collection of businesses housed inside of General Electric. Slowly but surely, the company is getting its house in order. Any new spending plan out of Washington should be a boost to that effort.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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