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Zacks.com daily stock analysis

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Zacks.com daily stock analysis

Editor’s note: PRESIDENT&CEO follows Zacks’ daily blog summary of interesting equity investment options.

Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:

Defense Industry Stock Roundup

Over the last five trading sessions, shares of several big contractors have recovered from a poor showing in the prior week. Major headlines in the defense and aerospace industry this past week came from the resilient Space System business area just as the Pentagon strives to counter emerging security threats and NASA forges ahead in building its very own space taxi.

(Read the last recap here: Defense Stock Roundup for Sep 16, 2014.)

Iraq Update

As part of the planned expanded mission announced by President Obama lately, the U.S. military launched air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria for the first time. The U.S. has deployed a mix of fighter planes, bomber aircraft and Raytheon Co.'s (NYSE:RTN) Tomahawk Land Attack missiles.

The U.S. was joined in the Syria operation by Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. The U.S. fighter planes have conducted a total of 190 airstrikes across Iraq since August.

With the U.S. administration's pledge to engage in a long-term and more proactive intervention in Iraq, the defense stocks might see some gains going forward.

Recap of the Week's Most Important Stories

1. The Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) and Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, has been selected by NASA to transport U.S. crews to and from the International Space Station or ISS. The contracts, worth $6.8 billion in total, strive to end the nation's sole reliance on Russia (read more: Boeing and SpaceX Secure $6.2B NASA Space Taxi Contract).

2. In another U.S. space venture, United Launch Alliance (ULA) — a Boeing and Lockheed-Martin partnership — secured a $938.4 million contract extension from the Pentagon. The contract is expected to run through Sep 2015(read more: Lockheed Martin-Boeing JV to Offer Rocket Launch Services).

United Launch Alliance has also teamed up with Blue Origin LLC, founded by Amazon.com Inc.'s (Nasdaq:AMZN) Jeff Bezos, to build a new rocket engine named BE-4 (read more: Boeing, Lockheed JV and Bezos' Blue Origin in Space Venture).

3. Rockwell Collins Inc.'s (NYSE:COL) shares rose 2.74% on Sep 19, 2014 following the announcement of its fiscal 2015 guidance as well as on its expanded share buyback plan. This marked the biggest gain for the company in more than two years (read more: Rockwell Collins Rises on FY2015 View, Boosts Buyback Plan).

4. Defense prime Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT) grabbed quite a few contracts from the Department of Defense funding list. The largest of these contracts was $146.3 million modification contract for the procurement of Trident II (D5) missile production, D5 Life Extension development and production, and D5 Deployed Systems Support.

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