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The market has stopped believing GOP's hawkish rhetoric

The Republican Party's leading candidates have spent much of this election cycle talking up their pro-defense chops, giving different ways for how strong they want to make our military.

If we wanted to jump on a trend, we might think it would be a good time to buy shares of defense company stocks. But before you do, just note this strategy might not work out so well.

Kensho's data analytics show that in this election cycle, defense stocks have performed slightly worse than the stock market on the days before and after a GOP debate.

All that rhetoric, and the market is literally not buying it.

Rather than purchasing defense stocks, you would have been better off investing in just any average stock.

Some examples of top-performing stocks include Clorox, Coca-Cola and Molson Coors — all with bigger returns than the average defense name.

Here's the crazy thing: this concept of buying defense stocks around Republican debates actually used to work!

Going back all the way to 1999, the extra gains were a full percentage point more than the market. But in this cycle, that's not been true.

If you remember anything, just keep in mind these two concepts: First, you used to be able to make money buying defense stocks around Republican debates. And second, in the election that has seen more hawkishness than any other in recent years, that trading move has finally started to look its age. Either the market no longer believes the GOP's rhetoric, or it sees no chance of it ever being put into practice.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal, parent of CNBC, is a minority investor in Kensho.