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Top 3 Congress insider stock trades this week

Top 3 Congress insider stock trades this week

Despite the best efforts of some and seemingly disingenuous promises of others dating back multiple years, U.S. elected officials remain some of the most prolific and successful traders in the country.

Though former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and, more recently, due to his wildly successful investment in Humacyte (NASDAQ: HUMA), Senator Tommy Tuberville have been taking the bulk of attention, they are far from the only politicians to trade.

What makes matters worse is that, despite there being no definitive proof of insider trading, investments are frequently made in stocks directly overseen or influenced by the investing officials, with one of the least savory examples coming late in 2023 when the Chairman of the Ethics Committee made a large purchase of gambling stocks.

With the politicians’ propensity for trading and the frequently curious nature of their purchases, Finbold decided to take a look at some of the top Congressional and Senatorial investments to follow this week.

Raytheon (NYSE: RTX) and many politicians

Though war stocks never really went out of fashion, in recent years, and particularly the last 6 months, have made all trades involving Pentagon-associated companies increasingly more interesting.

Much as the military stock trades were brought into focus as it was revealed U.S. politicians increased their trades in the days leading up to the October 7 attacks, so have recent events – first involving a major Israel-Iran war scare in April, and in May, fears due to Israel launching an offensive into Rafah despite the warnings and pleas coming from almost the entire international community – again pulled them into the forefront.

Few companies have been as involved – and, as it turns out – as traded as RTX Technologies (NYSE: RTX), better known as Raytheon, due to the firm’s role in producing missiles for Israeli air defense systems.

Much as President Biden reaffirmed his ‘ironclad’ commitment to Israel, so have multiple U.S. politicians seemingly reaffirmed their favor for their Raytheon investments.

At the time of publication, some of the biggest and most interesting RTX traders of the year have been Senator Markwayne Mullin – who bought in October and is 41% up – Representative Kevin Hern – who bought in March and is up 8% – Representative Dan Newhouse of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security – who bought shortly before the latest round of aid was approved – and Representative Earl Blumenauer – who disclosed a purchase made by his wife on May 6.

RTX stock 1-year price chart. Source: Finbold

Given that RTX is up nearly 30% in the last 6 months, with the start of the current round of violence in Gaza and the West Bank marking the end of the stock’s 2023 downturn, it isn’t surprising that it has been popular with politicians.

Raytheon’s price today stands at $103.59.

Zoetis (NYSE: ZTS) and Senator Markwayne Mullin

Last year, Senator Tina Smith made headlines with what Quiver Quantitative – a platform best-known for sharing odd politicians’ trades on Xcalled ‘the most suspicious congressional stock trade in months’’ as she, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, invested in an obscure healthcare company.

This year, Senator Markwayne Mullin, another member of the Senate Committee on Health, drew attention with his own trades of the stock of another healthcare company – Zoetis (NYSE: ZTS).

The trade is interesting for several reasons, not the least of which is that the official seemingly lost money on it. 

He bought the shares at approximately $194 and sold them at just under $163. Still, he also evaded the worst of the potential losses as on April 9 – less than a week after the sale – ZTS started falling off a cliff and, within days, dropped from $167 to less than $150.

ZTS stock YTD price chart. Source: Finbold

Zoetis’ price today, however, stands at $166.40, leaving the question of how well-advised the sale was open.

Ardmore Shipping (NYSE: ASC) and Representative Virginia Foxx

Unlike with Mullin’s Zoetis bet, there is little question of whether Representative Virginia Foxx’s unique – no other politicians traded the same stock in recent years – investment in Ardmore Shipping (NYSE: ASC) has been a savvy trade.

Foxx has been buying ASC shares steadily since early February with their price at the time of the first 2024 purchase being $16.29. Given that Admore price today stands at $20.34, the Representative is substantially in the green on the investment in the oil shipping company. 

ASC stock YTD price chart. Source: Google

Trading on Wednesday, May 8, was particularly positive as the company recorded a 15% 1-day rise. 

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