Steel Stalls

The massive and historic floods in Australia have driven coal prices up. This is particularly important for steel since Australia exports 2/3 of the world’s coal used for making steel (coking coal). Steelmakers have already been struggling with increasing input costs, so the Australian floods are sure to pinch profits further. At the close of … Read more

The Breakout In Steel Stocks Gains Momentum

Lately, it seems I have been pointing out more and more stocks in breakout formations. It makes the skeptic in me a little wary and nervous, but I will keep rolling with what works. And steel stocks have finally started working over the past month. I have to assume that the market is seeking out … Read more

U.S. Steel and Nucor Cap End of Sharp Rallies with Sobering Earnings

At the end of December, I suggested that the post-earnings trading in U.S. Steel (X) and Nucor (NUE) would be explosive based upon stealth rallies from the November lows that occurred despite a strong accumulation in puts and shorts on those stocks. On Tuesday, both steel companies delivered disappointing earnings that included cautions regarding continued … Read more

“Stealth” Rallies In Nucor and U.S. Steel Setup Potentially Explosive January Earnings Season

Over the past three days, the S&P 500 finally broke upward out of a five-week trading range (the NASDAQ has had a much more aggressive breakout). Well before this latest bullish move, many stocks and whole sectors soared higher in a “stealth” rally. Steel companies U.S. Steel (X) and Nucor (NUE) are two stocks in … Read more

The World Steel Association Projects Steel Demand to Return to 2008 Levels

The World Steel Association (worldsteel) forecasts for 2010 confirm my earlier view that steel demand (and production) most likely bottomed this year and some kind of recovery is underway. Worldsteel’s forecasts indicate that demand for steel in 2010 will return to 2008 levels after contracting in 2009 by 8.6%: “The World Steel Association (worldsteel) is … Read more

What Is the Deal with Steel Production and Prices?

Last week, I noticed media headlines screaming the horrible news that “Crude steel output in 2009 to hit lowest level in 40 years.” As I searched for the direct source of this quote from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), I stumbled upon its “Preliminary Report on Iron and Steel, Non-ferrous metal, and … Read more