Steel stocks are having a nice run in December 2017. Based on December 13, 2017, closing prices, U.S. Steel Corporation (X) and AK Steel (AKS) have risen 13.6% and 10.5%, respectively, in December. Nucor (NUE) and ArcelorMittal (MT) have risen 7.6% and 5.9%, respectively.
December’s upward price action is a welcome break for steel investors (XME). Steel stocks have been subdued for the last few months. But thanks to December’s price movement, some steel stocks have recouped their 2017 losses and are now trading with year-to-date gains.
Several factors have supported steel companies’ price actions this month. We’ve seen some traction in US steel prices as steel companies’ efforts to hike prices seem to be gaining pace. The deadline for the Section 232 imports probe that was ordered by the Trump administration earlier this year is quickly approaching. Steel bulls expect the administration to act against high steel imports.
Wall Street analysts have recently been warming up to steel stocks, and we’ve seen some analysts upgrade steel stocks. In this series, we’ll see how analysts are rating steel stocks as the year draws to a close. We’ll also look at the recent rating changes for leading steel stocks.
Let’s start by seeing how analysts see US steel as the Section 232 probe deadline looms.