Steel stocks jump after an analyst upgraded the sector because of Trump’s policies, improving demand

Key Points
  • Macquarie says steel prices are up around 30 percent in the first quarter as demand rises.
  • The firm raises its price target for Steel Dynamics to $44 from $38, representing 24 percent upside from Friday's close.
A contractor moves steel rebar while working on the construction site of a residential building in New York.
Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Macquarie raised its stock ratings across the steel sector due to evidence of better steel demand and the prospect of President Donald Trump's protectionist policies for the industry.

Steel stocks surged more than 6 percent percent last Thursday after President Trump signed a directive for an investigation into whether foreign steel imports are hurting U.S. national security.

"With steel demand improving, and President Trump continuing to promise new restrictions on imports, we see the potential for X's results to improve," steel analyst Aldo Mazzaferro wrote in a note to clients Monday. "Demand indicators show improvement in energy and industrial markets."

The analyst upgraded United States Steel and Nucor to neutral from underperform and increased his rating for Steel Dynamics to outperform from neutral. Those shares gained Monday following the move.

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