Steel Industry, Seeing a New Dawn

  • 05/12/2017
  • Press Corp
HUGER, S.C. — Safely stationed in the control pulpit, Chris St. Amand is watching the pot boil. Working the day shift at the sprawling Nucor Steel plant along the Cooper River here, Mr. St. Amand monitors a four-foot-wide lasagna noodle of steel as it is dunked into a molten broth of protective shimmering zinc. He tracks every step of this galvanization process — from the caldron’s 865-degree temperature to the line speed — on a bank of flashing screens. Except, that is, for the screen at the bottom right. “I watch our stock and the Dow Jones on that one,” he said.

Mr. St. Amand, whose pay package includes profit-sharing, likes what he sees. Since Election Day, Nucor is up 13 percent.

Across the steel industry, stock prices — and spirits — have been on the rise, lifted by President Trump’s vow to protect American manufacturers against cheaper imports and invest as much as $1 trillion in infrastructure over the next decade.


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