Shares in two of the largest United States gun companies rose sharply Monday following the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
Late Sunday evening, a gunman in a hotel room at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas killed at least 58 people attending a country music festival and wounded over 500 more. Police said Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on around 22,000 people before police stormed his hotel room and found the suspect dead.
Following the attack, the price of shares for firearm manufacturer, Sturm Ruger, was up more than 4.5 per cent Monday afternoon. American Outdoor Brands (another large gun manufacturer) gained almost five per cent.
Gun sales have been on the decline since the 2016 presidential election. In August, Storm Ruger said its latest quarterly revenues were down 22 per cent from a year ago. American Outdoor Brands reported a nearly 40 per cent decrease in sales during its latest quarter.
The move to higher prices for gun stocks is typical after a mass shooting as investors bet fear will lead to a surge in gun sales.
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After the Orlando, Fla., and San Bernardino, Calif., shootings, “you saw a two- to three-month surge in firearms sales,” Rommel Dionisio, managing director at Aegis Capital, told CNBC. The two ISIS-linked attacks “certainly triggered something in the American consciousness about personal safety.”
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In its annual report, American Outdoor Brands told investors several times that “speculation surrounding increased gun control at the federal, state, and local level and heightened fears of terrorism and crime” can affect demand for its products.
However, share prices for casino operators such as MGM Resorts (owner of the Mandalay Bay Hotel), Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands Corp. fell on Monday.