Atlantis’ Last Launch Smokes Aerospace Stocks

Space Shuttle Atlantis this morning embarked on its final mission as the rocket launched on schedule at 11:29 AM today from Cape Canaveral. The Florida based spaceport has for some time been a boon to local business and a large employer for its home turf of Brevard County, though estimates now indicate that the area may lose up to 23,000 jobs from the shutdown of the local space program. Major aerospace companies are already planning to layoff a large number of workers, with Boeing (NYSE:BA) having already issued 60-day layoff notices to 510 employees in its Space Exploration unit, and the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation reporting a 3% loss in jobs last year, partly due to budget cuts in the NASA program.

Investors are looking bearishly at aerospace businesses today following the news, here’s a quick look at how some of the sector’s top companies are performing:

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) down 1.54%, Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE:NOC) down 1.01%, General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE:GD) off 1.56%, Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT) sliding 1.11%, ITT Corporation (NYSE:ITT) down 1.41%, Rockwell Collins, Inc. (NYSE:COL) down 1.34% and Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) slipping 1.96%.