Upgrades Carry Steel Stocks Higher

Beaten-down steel stocks including Nucor (NYSE:NUE) posted solid gains on Tuesday following a positive research note from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC).

The brokerage upgraded Steel Dynamics (NASDAQ:STLD) and Reliance Steel & Aluminum (NYSE:RS) to “buy” from “neutral,” but left its price targets at $19 and $77, respectively.

Still, the rally is lifting shares of AK Steel (NYSE:AKS), Nucor, and Tenaris (NYSE:TS).

On the downside, United Steel (NYSE:X) is sliding on a downgrade from Citigroup (NYSE:C) to “sell” from “neutral,” citing weakness in steel prices. Citi also cut United Steel’s price target to $23 from $28.  Some of these steel stocks have gotten hammered in 2014 on worries about slowing demand in emerging markets: