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Major defense stocks surge to all-time highs after Trump's tough rhetoric against North Korea

  • Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon all hit record highs Wednesday morning following President Donald Trump's "fire and fury" comments to North Korea.
  • The SPDR S&P Aerospace and Defense ETF is up 29 percent since the Nov. 8 election through Tuesday compared with the S&P 500's 16 percent return during the same period.
  • The White House proposed a nearly 10 percent increase in defense spending to $603 billion for fiscal 2018 in February.
F-35 Bravo Lightning II stand ready on the deck of amphibious assault ship USS Wasp for day two of the first phase operational testing in the Atlantic Ocean in this handout photo taken May 19, 2015 and provided by the U.S. Navy.
U.S. Navy | Reuters
F-35 Bravo Lightning II stand ready on the deck of amphibious assault ship USS Wasp for day two of the first phase operational testing in the Atlantic Ocean in this handout photo taken May 19, 2015 and provided by the U.S. Navy.

There is one Trump trade still working even as some on Wall Street fret the White House is getting "nothing done."

Defense stocks rallied a day after President Donald Trump warned that threats from North Korea "will be met with fire and fury" on Tuesday. The gain in the stocks came as the rest of the market fell on concerns about increased geopolitical tensions in the area.

Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon all hit new all-time highs Wednesday morning, rising 1.1 percent, 1.1 percent and 1.9 percent respectively. Raytheon and Lockheed helped to build the THAAD missile defense system in the Asian region.

Even before Wednesday, many of the large defense stocks were already up by double-digit percentages for the year based on expectations for an improved outlook for U.S. defense spending under the Trump administration.

The White House proposed a nearly 10 percent increase in the military budget to $603 billion for fiscal 2018 in February.

"This budget will be a public safety and national security budget," Trump said on Feb. 27. He called for a "historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it."

The SPDR S&P Aerospace and Defense ETF is up 29 percent since the Nov. 8 election through Tuesday compared with the S&P 500's 16 percent return during the same period.

— CNBC's Jeff Daniels contributed to this story.