The VanEck Vectors Steel ETF (NYSEArca: SLX) is up about 15% year-to-date and resides just 3% below its recent highs, but some market observers are pondering the value proposition currently being offered by steel equities.
SLX tries to reflect the performance of the NYSE Arca Steel Index, which follows global companies involved in the steel industry. Part of the problem are expectations that the Trump Administration will push off its ambitious infrastructure effort until next year.
“Steel stocks have officially come off their early-2017 highs. While the year started off well for the US steel industry, we started to see weakness thereafter, though the Trump administration’s decision to order an investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to see whether steel imports threaten US national security did provide some relief to steelmakers,” according to Market Realist.
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.
Related: Steel ETF Continues Its Comeback