Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled the latest developments in his country's missile defense systems in a speech Thursday, March 1, causing defense stocks in the U.S. to fall.
Putin described his new array of nuclear weapons as invincible and showed an animated video of a missile system that can "reach anywhere in the world." Putin said that the missile could penetrate the U.S. missile defense shield in Europe and Asia.
Defense stocks were trending lower Thursday on the news. Rockwell Collins Inc. (COL) was down 1.3%, Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC) fell 1.55%, General Dynamics Corp. (GD) fell 0.8% and Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) fell 2.44%. Boeing Co. (BA) was down 3% on Thursday.
Defense stocks recently got a bump after the U.S. presidential budget increased the Pentagon's budget by $165 billion over the next two years. Meanwhile, Congress agreed to a two-year budget deal that authorizes defense spending at $700 billion for fiscal 2018 and $716 billion for fiscal 2019.
In spite of the bluster from the Kremlin, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Thursday that the country has no plans to increase its defense spending, according to the TASS news agency.
Russian elections are just weeks away and Putin is widely expected to be elected to his fourth term as president.