From the Tomahawk cruise missile to the B-2 stealth bomber, war is big business. Of course, while government expenditures can seem staggering, the effect on the big defense contractors are muted. Most have commercial aviation businesses that are suffering. And all have seen their stock prices drop since bombing in Iraq began on March 19, continuing a slide that has left most near 52-week lows.
Then there are the biotechs, racing to create vaccines and treatments to prepare for possible biological terrorism. But few have proven therapies and most are burning through cash.
Finally, there are the rebuilders. When the war with Iraq ends, there will be roads to be reconstructed and an entire oil industry to be modernized. Projects will run into the billions of dollars. But guessing how that will translate into long-term earnings growth is tough.
Here is a list of stocks that investors will no doubt be watching as war in Iraq and on terrorism intensifies. Performance is tracked since March 19.
Sources: Thomson/Baseline, Standard & Poor's
*Forward P/E based on earnings estimates for the current fiscal year.