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BUZZ-U.S. weapon makers rise as Trump backs $750 bln defense budget request

** U.S. defense stocks rise in early trading after a U.S. official said President Donald Trump backed plans to request $750 bln from Congress for defense spending next year

** Shares of Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corp and Raytheon Co climb between 3.8 pct and 4.2 pct - top pct gainers on the S&P 500

** The $750 bln budget is higher than $733 bln request the Pentagon had been expected to make for fiscal year 2020 and well above a $700 bln figure Trump cited in October

** Among other gainers, General Dynamics Corp rose 3 pct and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc climbed 1.9 pct

** The Dow Jones U.S. Defense index rose 2.7 pct, its biggest one-day pct rise in nearly six weeks

** The defense index is now down 10.7 pct for the year vs. the broader market’s over 2 pct YTD decline (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru)