Defense stocks Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Northrop Grumman (NOC) rose Friday and the Dow climbed back following Thursday’s intraday drop of more than 800 points as Russia expanded its invasion of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian cities of Kyiv, Odessa, Kharkiv and Mariupo reportedly came under a coordinated attack by Russia. President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” was underway to bring down the government of Ukraine and demilitarize the country.
A U.S. defense official said that while Russian forces are still advancing on Kyiv, the offensive is going slower than Russia expected as troops are “meeting more resistance than they anticipated.” Russia had reportedly not gained any population centers, and had not achieved air superiority over Ukraine. But the situation was evolving rapidly.
Russia had launched over 200 missiles as part of the invasion, a senior U.S. defense official told reporters Friday. The missiles were mostly short-range ballistic missiles but also included medium-range cruise missiles, surface-to-air missiles and sea-launched missiles.
U.S. officials estimate that as many as 50,000 civilians could eventually be killed or wounded in the conflict. Thousands of Ukrainians have already fled the country.
The invasion sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbling early Thursday after the market moved into a correction Wednesday on Russia-Ukraine fears. But the Dow reversed to end up more than 90 points Thursday. The benchmark advanced more than 500 points on Friday. Defense stocks continued their climb higher on Friday.
The iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF (ITA) rose 2.3% to 106.90. Boeing (BA) was up 2.1% to 202.55, after falling earlier in the week amid commercial aviation concerns. The Federal Aviation Administration, extended its no-fly range for U.S. carriers to cover all of Ukraine, Belarus and parts of western Russia.
No American troops are in Ukraine, but the U.S. military is actively supporting NATO allies in the region. President Biden said Tuesday that U.S. troop repositionings in Europe were…