Last week was positive for US steel stocks. AK Steel (AKS) was the best-performing stock among the steel stocks we’re covering in this series with gains of 8.2% in the week ending November 24. Nucor (NUE) and Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) rose 2.0% and 7.8%, respectively, while U.S. Steel (X) rose 7.0%. ArcelorMittal (MT), the world’s largest steel producer, rose 4.6% in the last week.
The broader markets (SPY) (SPX) rose 0.81%, while the SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF rose 3.9% last week. Notably, commodities have outperformed equity markets this year. Better-than-expected demand in China, which consumes almost half of all industrial metals, has lifted metal prices this year. China’s supply-side reforms to curtail its polluting industrial plants have further boosted some metals like steel and aluminum.
The last week started on a positive note for US steel stocks. Steel market sentiment improved further on Tuesday after Credit Suisse upgraded AK Steel from a “neutral” to “buy.” The brokerage also raised AK Steel’s price target from $6 to $7. Notably, AK Steel has been the worst-performing steel stock this year among our select group of steel stocks. However, it has outperformed the broader steel space for two consecutive weeks.
In this series, we’ll take a look at the major macro developments that impacted US steel stocks in the week ending November 24. We’ll also look at some of the company-specific developments that impacted steel stocks. Finally, we’ll discuss the various data points that steel investors should follow this week.