U.S. Steel, Gap: S&P Gainers

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. Steel ( X) and Gap ( GPS) were among the best-performing stocks in the S&P 500 Monday.

The S&P increased 5.58 points, or 0.4%, to 1,409.75.

Shares of U.S. Steel rose 6.35% to $31.64. Steel Market Intelligence's Michelle Applebaum told Bloomberg she attributes the stock price rise to "a number of announced price increases which are 'forward looking'."

U.S. Steel shares trade at an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 8.82X; the average for iron and steel companies is 9.46X. For comparison, Steel Dynamics ( STLD) has a lower forward P/E of 8.38X; Nucor's ( NUE) forward P/E is 10.96X.

Ten of the 20 analysts who cover U.S. Steel rate it at hold. Six analysts give the stock a buy rating and four rate it at sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives U.S. Steel a D+ grade and sell rating. The stock has risen 19.58% year to date.

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Shares of Gap rose 2.72% to $26.08. The retailer's stock was raised to an outperform rating from BMO Capital Markets analysts.

"Up until now we had been at a market perform on the name because of continual merchandising mistakes, particularly at the core Gap brand, a lack of sustainability in operating performance, and a revolving door of merchants that was unable to effect lasting changes," the firm said. "However, we now think steps toward restoring its brands' credibility are becoming more evident, which gives us greater confidence that management can execute on its turnaround strategy across all three brands in 2012."

In other news Monday, Gap is opening its first franchise, standalone store in South Africa this week, according to Reuters.

Shares of Gap hit a 52-week high Monday of $26.13. The stock's 52-week low of $15.08 was set on Sept. 6.

Gap shares trade at a forward P/E of 12.68X; the average for apparel retailers is 16.95X. For comparison, both Nordstrom ( JWN) and Limited Brands ( LTD) have higher forward P/Es of 13.79X and 14.74X, respectively.

Nineteen of the 32 analysts who cover Gap rate it at hold. Seven analysts give the stock a buy rating and six rate it at sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives Gap a B grade with a buy rating and a $29.61 price target. The stock has risen 40.59% year to date.


Other top S&P performers Monday include:
  • Netflix (NFLX): The stock rose 3.97% Monday to $114.33. The stock has increased 65% year to date. TheStreet Ratings gives Netflix a C+ grade and hold rating.
  • QEP Resources (QEP): The stock increased 3.6% Monday to $33.06. The stock has risen 12.83% year to date. TheStreet Ratings gives QEP Resources a C grade and hold rating.
  • R.R. Donnelley & Sons (RRD): The stock rose 3.58% Monday to $13.61. The stock has fallen 5.68% year to date. TheStreet Ratings gives R.R. Donnelley & Sons a C- grade and hold rating.
  • United Parcel Service (UPS): The stock increased 3.44% Monday to $81.11. The stock has risen 10.82% year to date. TheStreet Ratings gives United Parcel Service an A grade with a buy rating and $91.18 price target.
  • Host Hotels and Resorts (HST): The stock rose 3.19% Monday to $16.50. The stock has increased 11.71% year to date. TheStreet Ratings gives Host Hotels and Resorts a C grade and hold rating.
  • Priceline.com (PCLN): The stock increased 3.17% Monday to $696.93. The stock has risen 49.01% year to date. TheStreet Ratings gives Priceline.com an A grade with a buy rating and $775 price target.
  • Devon Energy (DVN): The stock rose 2.82% Monday to $75.81. The stock has increased 22.27% year to date. TheStreet Ratings gives Devon Energy a B grade with a buy rating and $83.78 price target.
  • Morgan Stanley (MS): The stock increased 2.71% Monday to $20.06. The stock has risen 32.58% year to date. TheStreet Ratings gives Morgan Stanley a C- grade with a hold rating.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian in New York.

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