Steel's Mettle as a Trump Trade is Tested

Few exchange traded funds were as positively correlated to the idea of a Donald Trump presidency as was the VanEck Vectors Steel ETF (NYSEArca: SLX), which was one of 2016’s best-performing non-leveraged ETFs.

However, SLX, the only ETF dedicated to steel stocks, stumbled Wednesday as U.S. Steel (NYSE: X), one of the ETF’s marquee holdings, lost a quarter of its value on the back of a weak earnings report.

“U.S. Steel reported a quarterly loss of $1.03 per share, according to Thomson Reuters. That was quite a miss, as analysts polled by were expecting a quarterly profit of 35 cents per share. The company also slashed guidance, expecting full-year 2017 earnings of $1.50 per share, half the Street’s expected figure of $3.05 per share,” reports CNBC.

Donald Trump in the White House is widely seen as a catalyst for the steel industry. During the campaign, Trump proposed significant infrastructure spending as an avenue for boosting the U.S. economy. If those plans see the light of day, SLX and steel stocks could benefit. However, it is widely believed the Trump infrastructure plan will be pushed back to 2018, news that has disappointed investors to start 2017.