Steel Stocks Gain on Signs of Recovery

United States Steel(X) gained 32% over the last month on expectations of a rise in steel prices and an improving outlook for U.S. producers.  Meanwhile, Keybanc Capital Markets raised its recommendation on Steel Dynamics(STLD) from Hold to Buy, following which the stock gained a handsome 2.45%.

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U.S. Steel, Worthington Industries (WOR), Ternium S.A. (TX) and AK Steel Holding(AKS) lead the steel-gainers’ pack with impressive one-month returns of 35.7%, 23.2%, 21.3% and 18.0%, respectively. Other steel majors, ArcelorMittal(MT) and POSCO(PKX), registered gains of 17% and 7%, respectively, over the past month.

During this period, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average registered gains of 6.77% and 5.24%, respectively.

Steel Production Rises in the U.S.
Weak fourth-quarter results and a tempered outlook triggered a strong correction in steel stocks, with the S&P 500 Steel Index dropping 13.2% in January and creating a buying opportunity. [Read the full article]

After two days in a row of gains, airline stocks remained somewhat steady on Thursday.

Shares of most of the big carriers moved little. The Amex airline index was down less than 1 percent in midday trading.

Airline shares have rallied recently as investors bet that carriers will benefit dramatically from a travel rebound as the economy recovers. On Wednesday, UBS raised its forecast for 2010 earnings at several carriers, with the most optimism directed at Continental Airlines Inc., United Airlines parent UAL Corp., and American Airlines parent AMR Corp.

Oil prices drifted below $82 per barrel on Thursday. That could be seen as a positive for airlines, because fuel represents one of the sector’s biggest expenses.

In midday trading, shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. fell 30 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $13. AMR rose 14 cents to $10.11, while UAL fell 12 cents to $18.86. Continental was up 26 cents at $22.53, and US Airways Group Inc. fell 15 cents to $7.79. [Read the full article]

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