Gun stocks tumble after optimisitc COVID-19 vaccine news

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Gunmakers were left out of the massive stock market rally sparked by a potential breakthrough on a coronavirus vaccine.

Firearms giants Smith & Wesson, Sturm Rurger and Vista Outdoor saw their share prices tumble Monday after Pfizer announced its COVID-19 shot was more than 90 percent effective — a milestone development that could help bring an end to the deadly pandemic.

All three stocks recovered Tuesday as Wall Street’s vaccine euphoria wore off, but not enough to claw back the prior day’s losses.

Smith & Wesson climbed as much as 2.1 percent to $16.15 after sinking nearly 10 percent Monday; Sturm Ruger jumped 4.1 percent to a peak of $66.31 following a 7.3 percent loss; and Vista ticked up about 3.2 percent after plunging 13 percent.

Sales of hunting equipment exploded this year as the pandemic led consumers to spend more time outdoors.

In addition, gun sales spiked over the summer amid mass demonstrations against police brutality.

The FBI ran a record 32 million background checks for gun purchases from January through October, surpassing last year’s total of about 28 million in just 10 months.

But the boom could end if a safe and effective vaccine helps the economy get back to normal, giving consumers one less reason to arm themselves.

“If a vaccine that is 90 percent effective can truly bring COVID to an end, the return to work and school could subsequently bring sales in these categories back down to normalized levels,” Rommel Dionisio, an analyst at Aegis Capital, told Reuters.

Moreover, last week’s presidential election didn’t spawn the chaotic protests that businesses braced for by boarding up their storefronts.

With Post wires

A Global Asset Management Seoul Korea Magazine

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