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  • Wed, Nov. 30, 10:24 AM
    • Noting that ArcelorMittal (MT +1.8%) has raised its hot-rolled sheet pricing by $40/ton to $600/ton, J.P. Morgan's Michael Gambardella raises his price targets on several stocks in the U.S. steel industry (SLX +1.5%).
    • He increases his target for AK Steel (AKS +3.1%) to $11 from $8.50, on Nucor (NUE +0.6%) to $70 from $59, on Steel Dynamics (STLD +0.9%) to $41 from $31, on U.S. Steel (X +3.3%) to $37 from $29, and on Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF +1.2%) to $10 from $7, while keeping Overweight ratings on all five stocks.
    • Gambardella says supply cuts in the U.S. from both capacity curtailments and lower imports should support higher U.S. steel prices, and thinks the Trump administration's impact on trade could be "much quicker and more meaningful" than its infrastructure plans.
    | Wed, Nov. 30, 10:24 AM | 21 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 29, 12:41 PM
    • Steel stocks (SLX -2.4%) look expensive following their post-election rally, but the strong U.S. dollar could keep a lid on prices while slowing growth in China could derail the steel price rally, Macquarie analysts say as they downgrade several names in the sector.
    • U.S. steel prices have risen to $550-$560/ton, driven partly by tight domestic supply and a lack of imports, but at current levels steel stocks reflect steel prices of more than $600/ton, increasing the risk posed by the shares, the firm says.
    • Macquarie downgrades Nucor (NUE -0.5%), TimkenSteel (TMST -1.9%) and Worthington (WOR -3.5%) to Underperform from Neutral, and cuts Steel Dynamics (STLD -0.3%), AK Steel (AKS +0.1%) and Reliance Steel (RS -0.1%) to Neutral from Outperform; U.S. Steel (X -2%) is maintained at Underperform, while Argus analysts downgraded X, saying the shares are overbought.
    | Tue, Nov. 29, 12:41 PM | 11 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 29, 11:32 AM
    • U.S. Steel (X -3.1%) is sharply lower after Argus downgrades shares to Hold from Buy, saying the stock is now overbought following the 60% surge since the election.
    • While unexpected outages at several manufacturing plants likely will weigh on Q4 results, Argus expects U.S. Steel to benefit from the Trump administration’s plans to boost infrastructure spending as well as from further actions to limit the dumping of imported steel, which should provide greater pricing power over time.
    • However, the firm thinks U.S. Steel and its peers still face significant uncertainty in the near term, and does not expect increased infrastructure spending to boost earnings until at least mid-2017.
    • Among peers: CLF -5.9%, MT -1%, WOR -3.3%, AKS -0.7%.
    | Tue, Nov. 29, 11:32 AM | 16 Comments
  • Wed, Nov. 23, 4:56 PM
    • The top U.S. steelmakers' trade group says it has been in contact with Pres.-elect Trump's transition team since his election on Nov. 8, and will seek tougher trade defenses under the new administration.
    • The American Iron and Steel Institute - whose members include ArcelorMittal USA (NYSE:MT), Nucor (NYSE:NUE), U.S. Steel (NYSE:X) and AK Steel (NYSE:AKS) -is particularly excited by the presence in Trump's inner circle of Dan DiMicco, a former Nucor CEO who is a top contender for U.S. trade representative in the new administration.
    • U.S. steel company stocks have surged 25% since the election, fueled by bets for stronger trade defenses, tax cuts and infrastructure spending, but auto manufacturers have begun to push back; Ford said last week that Trump's plan to slap 35% tariffs on cars and trucks imported from Mexico would hurt the auto industry and the U.S. economy.
    | Wed, Nov. 23, 4:56 PM | 23 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 22, 5:25 PM
    • U.S. Steel (NYSE:X) agrees to reduce pollution at plants in Granite City, Ill., Gary, Ind. and Ecorse, Mich., and pay a $2.2M civil penalty to resolve a Clean Air Act lawsuit by the U.S. government and three states, the Justice Department says.
    • The company also will conduct environmental projects costing $1.9M to protect health and the environment in the affected communities and spend $800K for a project to remove contaminated transformers at the Gary and Ecorse facilities.
    | Tue, Nov. 22, 5:25 PM | 3 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 22, 3:45 PM
    • U.S. Steel (X +11.4%), AK Steel (AKS +10.7%), Steel Dynamics (STLD +4.1%), Nucor (NUE +4.4%) and Commercial Metals (CMC +4.7%) all surge to 52-week highs, extending their Trump-fueled rally as trade protectionist talk suggests that higher than usual premiums can be achieved for steel mills.
    • BofA Merrill Lynch raises its 2017 average price estimate for U.S. hot-rolled coil to $650/short ton vs. its prior view of $535, as rising global prices and more protectionism should fuel strong steel prices into 2017 (SLX +5.8%).
    • Bloomberg reports BofA boosted its stock price targets for Buy-rated AKS to $12 from $7, STLD to $37 from $30, CMC to $24 from $20, NUE to $65 from $57, and Allegheny Tech (ATI +7.5%) to $20 from $19; the firm remains Neutral on X and Reliant Steel (RS +6.1%).
    • Also sharply higher today: MT +8.3%, CLF +13.8%, WOR +5.3%, RIO +4.1%, BHP +5.2%, VALE +7.8%.
    | Tue, Nov. 22, 3:45 PM | 15 Comments
  • Wed, Nov. 16, 2:43 PM
    • Despite a sector-wide rally in the steel sector (SLX -1.6%) following Trump's election win, some players will be left out of an infrastructure-driven growth spurt and may take big hits under Trump's promised protectionism, J.P. Morgan's Michael Gambardella warns.
    • Carbon steel makers such as Commercial Metals (CMC -0.5%), U.S. Steel (X -0.2%), AK Steel (AKS -1.9%), Steel Dynamics (STLD -0.1%) and Nucor (NUE -0.8%) should benefit from infrastructure spending and potential supply cuts brought on by a harsher trade environment, according to Gambardella.
    • But specialty steel companies including Allegheny Tech (ATI -5.9%), Carpenter Tech (CRS -2.6%) and Haynes (HAYN -12.2%) have little exposure to infrastructure applications as well as significant export businesses, whose 30%-plus revenue contribution would decline under a stronger dollar and retaliatory trade policies, the analyst says.
    | Wed, Nov. 16, 2:43 PM | 5 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 14, 4:42 PM
    • New positions for Greenlight Capital as of Sept. 30: U.S. Steel (NYSE:X), and GEO Group (NYSE:GEO).
    • Major exits: Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA), Humana (NYSE:HUM), Perrigo (NASDAQ:PRGO), AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC), Hertz (NYSE:HTZ), Community Health (NYSE:CYH), Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR), Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD).
    • 13F
    | Mon, Nov. 14, 4:42 PM | 23 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 14, 10:31 AM
    • AK Steel (AKS +8.8%) shoots to a new 52-week high after Morgan Stanley upgrades steel company shares (SLX +1.7%), including AKS to Overweight from Equal Weight with an $11 price target, up from $5.
    • The firm cites Pres.-elect Trump’s proposals for increased infrastructure spending and increased trade protection as having the potential to push the U.S. steel market into meaningful undersupply for the first time since the financial crisis.
    • Trump's stimulus plan could conservatively boost steel demand by 20%/year for five years and means continued efforts on the steel trade protection front, Stanley says, raising its mid-cycle price estimate to $225/ton from $175.
    • Stanley also upgrades U.S. Steel (X +7%) to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $46 price target, hiked from $19, Tenaris (TS +0.3%) to Overweight with a $42 price target, and Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF +2.3%) to Equal Weight from Underweight with a $9 target, raised from $3.
    | Mon, Nov. 14, 10:31 AM | 36 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 14, 9:13 AM
    | Mon, Nov. 14, 9:13 AM | 3 Comments
  • Wed, Nov. 9, 11:19 AM
    • Copper surges to a 15-month high, now +2.9% at $2.45/lb. after rising as much as 3.4% to its highest since July 2015, also boosting other metals as some investors speculate that a Trump presidency could launch significant fiscal stimulus and boost demand for metals.
    • In his victory speech last night, Trump said he would prioritize the rebuilding of American infrastructure with hopes of doubling U.S. economic growth.
    • Among related tickers: FCX +7.7%, RIO +5.9%, BHP +3.4%, VALE +4.2%, MT +10.6%, X +17.1%, STLD +8.2%, AKS +11%, NUE +11.6%, CLF +12%, RS +8.5%, WOR +3.8%.
    • ETFs: JJC, CPER, CUPM
    | Wed, Nov. 9, 11:19 AM | 45 Comments
  • Wed, Nov. 9, 9:16 AM
    | Wed, Nov. 9, 9:16 AM | 2 Comments
  • Wed, Nov. 9, 2:44 AM
    • With Donald Trump elected as the 45th President of the United States, one of the biggest beneficiaries might be Mexican cement company Cemex (NYSE:CX).
    • Trump has campaigned to build a wall on the Mexican border and immediately begin the process of deporting illegal immigrants with criminal records.
    • Other beneficiaries: MLM, VMC, GVA, TTEK, X, NUE, STLD, DE, CAT, FLR, KBR
    • #Election2016
    | Wed, Nov. 9, 2:44 AM | 13 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 7, 4:42 PM
    • The Commerce Department formally opens an investigation into allegations that Chinese steel producers are shipping steel (NYSEARCA:SLX) through Vietnam to avoid U.S. import tariffs.
    • A petition filed in September by ArcelorMittal USA (NYSE:MT), Nucor (NYSE:NUE), AK Steel (NYSE:AKS) and U.S. Steel (NYSE:X) alleged that Chinese steelmakers have shipped metal to Vietnam, made enough changes to it that they could then classify it as Vietnamese, and then shipped it to the U.S. under the lower tariffs charged on Vietnamese steel.
    • The Vietnamese corrosion resistance processing was "simple" and added only a small amount of value to the finished product imported into the U.S., with up to 90% of the value produced in China, the DoC says.
    | Mon, Nov. 7, 4:42 PM | 27 Comments
  • Sun, Nov. 6, 4:19 PM
    • The Department of Commerce is expected to launch a formal investigation Monday into whether Chinese steel companies are shipping steel through Vietnam to avoid U.S. import tariffs, a source tells WSJ.
    • The decision to investigate follows complaints from U.S. steelmakers (X, NUE, AKS, MT), and is an escalation of U.S. efforts to stop a glut of China-made metal from flooding U.S. markets.
    • Independent trade data supports what the steelmakers are alleging: In H1, shipments of steel from Vietnam to the U.S. increased to 312K tons from 26K tons; over the same period, Chinese exports of steel to Vietnam rose 46% to 6.3M tons from 4.3M tons.
    | Sun, Nov. 6, 4:19 PM | 15 Comments
  • Thu, Nov. 3, 12:36 PM
    • U.S. Steel (X +8.2%) surges, more than recouping yesterday's loss following a disappointing Q3 earnings report, after BofA Merrill Lynch upgrades shares to Neutral from Underperform.
    • Credit Suisse, which rates shares at Buy, sees steel prices heading higher, providing a boost for U.S. Steel, with U.S. flat rolled contract prices increasing ~$50/ton, which it forecasts to add $210M to EBITDA in 2017.
    • Citigroup also maintains its Buy rating, concurring that U.S. flat rolled steel prices are "at a positive inflection point, supported by mill price hike announcements, rising global prices, widening lead times and rising raw material costs."
    | Thu, Nov. 3, 12:36 PM | 5 Comments