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October 18 Market Close: GovCon Index Climbs on Orbital ATK Post-Launch Surge, Primes Pace Gain

GovConIndexUPExecutive Mosaic’s GovCon Index closed just shy of a full 1-percent gain Tuesday on a large upswing by Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA) after the company’s successful rocket launch Monday night and gains by other prime contractors.

GovCon Index gainers outnumbered laggers at a 9-to-1 ratio and 10 of its 11 S&P 500 companies advanced with McKesson Corp. (NYSE: MCK) the best net gainer and Honeywell International (NYSE: HON) the only decliner among co-listed companies.

Orbital ATK led all GovCon Index gainers after its Cygnus spacecraft lifted off to the International Space Station Monday night from Wallops Island, Virginia in the contractor’s first launch with an Antares rocket since an October 2014 explosion after liftoff.

Shares in Dulles, Virginia-based Orbital ATK are down 12.53 percent since the company said Aug. 10 it would restate nearly two years worth of financial results on accounting errors related to a U.S. Army ammunition production contract and the stock plummeted 20.25 percent that day.

McKesson’s climb to end as the GCI’s second-best net advancer coincided with a 1.07-percent gain in healthcare stocks that helped pace the U.S. stock bellwether S&P 500’s rise as investors welcomed a new round of corporate earnings reports from blue chips Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson.

Co-listed companies General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) and Boeing (NYSE: BA) also helped lift the GovCon Index as top five net gainers along with Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE: HII).

Vectrus (NYSE: VEC) ended as the GCI’s lowest net and percentage lagger and has traded down 41.58 percent since its Sept. 30 disclosure of the loss of its largest government contract that spurred an intraday plunge of 44.88 percent.

The company announced the loss of another major contract Sept. 1 and shares are down 52.16 percent since that date.

Vectrus said after markets closed Tuesday it would cut 64 positions from its Colorado Springs headquarters on top of the 18 open or unfilled posts already eliminated earlier this year

Science Applications International Corp. (NYSE: SAIC) was the only other GCI stock to decline alongside Vectrus and Honeywell.

Material stocks also performed strong in Tuesday trade as investors continued to lean toward strong belief that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December as futures markets have the odds of a move then at 60 percent, according to CNBC.

Economic data released before the open showed the Consumer Price Index at a gain of 0.3 percent in September with the core CPI only up 0.1 percent to show a mixed inflation environment, CNBC reported.

Market Summary

Index Value Net Change % Change
GovCon Index 79.731 +0.532 +0.672%
S&P 500 2, 139.60 +13.10 +0.62%
Dow Jones Industrial Average 18, 161.94 +75.54 +0.42%
NASDAQ 5, 243.84 +44.01 +0.85%
Advancing GovCon Index Issues 27
Declining GovCon Index Issues 3
Unchanged GovCon Index Issues 0

Top GovCon Index Net Performers

Symbol Company $ Current Price Net Change ▴ % Change
OA Orbital ATK 77.64 +3.23 +4.34%
MCK McKesson Corp. * 162.10 +1.45 +0.90%
GD General Dynamics * 151.88 +1.40 +0.93%
HII Huntington Ingalls Industries 160.58 +1.31 +0.82%
BA Boeing * 135.10 +1.10 +0.82%

Top GovCon Index Percentage Performers

Symbol Company $ Current Price Net Change % Change ▴
OA Orbital ATK 77.64 +3.23 +4.34%
KBR KBR 14.82 +0.26 +1.79%
CAE CAE 14.55 +0.25 +1.75%
BAESY BAE Systems 26.74 +0.41 +1.56%
GIB CGI Group 47.29 +0.66 +1.42%

Lowest GovCon Index Net Performers

Symbol Company $ Current Price Net Change ▾ % Change
VEC Vectrus 16.14 -0.71 -4.21%
HON Honeywell International * 107.87 -0.17 -0.16%
SAIC SAIC 67.60 -0.08 -0.12%

Lowest GovCon Index Percentage Performers

Symbol Company $ Current Price Net Change % Change ▾
VEC Vectrus 16.14 -0.71 -4.21%
HON Honeywell International * 107.87 -0.17 -0.16%
SAIC SAIC 67.60 -0.08 -0.12%

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