Markets were mixed on Friday, March 2, as investors continued to digest President Donald Trump's plans to impose strict import tariffs on steel and aluminum. Though uncertainty continue to weigh on investors' minds, the Dow was the sole loser on the day, with McDonald's dragging down the index.
Many experts -- including Jim Cramer and his Action Alerts Charitable Trust -- were using the down day to add to positions, including 3M (MMM) , a holding in the trust. At the same time, other market experts, like James Deporre over on Real Money, was taking Friday to add to holdings including HTG Molecular (HTGM) , Cara Therapeutics (CARA) and Health Insurance Innovations (HIIQ) as well as SPDR Gold Trust GLD, though he cautioned he is doing so "very incrementally."
Overall technical conditions are oversold but the lack of any strong bounce action shows there is a high level of nervousness and uncertainty," Deporre wrote. "I would not be surprised if we see more downside but I think we will probably see some shifting in the tariff policy over the weekend that will give the market some relief."
Looking directly at steel stocks, Real Money's technical analyst Bruce Kamich dove into the charts on Nucor (NUE) , one of Cramer's favorites. Nucor, a Charlotte-based steel maker, closed the day up less than a percent, after dipping into the red earlier in the day.
More time in the black could be ahead for Nucor as the company "could show independent price strength in the days ahead when many other stocks are correcting lower to retest or break their February lows," Kamich writes.
Ok enough about the tariffs, let's talk Wells Fargo (WFC) , a long-standing, sticky situation that's gone under the radar in recent weeks. The embattled U.S. bank said Friday that four board members will retire, less than a month after the Federal Reserve barred the bank from future asset growth beyond the current $2 trillion balance sheet until it improves corporate governance and addresses other failings.
The board shakeup represents the latest fallout from allegations by regulators, customers and employees that Wells Fargo over the past decade set overly aggressive sales targets that resulted in abusive practices towards consumers, including opening unauthorized accounts and charging for unneeded auto insurance.
Shareholders are likely to cheer the departure of the directors, who had been accused by corporate-governance experts as well as lawmakers and state-government officials for failing to detect or stop the abusive practices before they exploded into the biggest scandal in the 166-year-old bank's recent history.
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Photo of the day: A tough business
While the markets were put off by President Trump's new tariffs, some that touch the U.S. steel industry, at least what's left of it, rejoiced. Workers at Wheatland Tube and Sharon Tube in Pennsylvania are in line to receive $1,000 annual bonuses after the tariffs are put into effect on foreign-made steel and aluminum, according to local press reports. While some pockets of the country were happy, much of the domestic industries that consume steel (auto manufacturers, packaged food companies, beverage companies, among others) were livid. There are two million aluminum fasteners in a jetliner, points out Jim Cramer, and that's going to cost Boeing (BA) some money at least at current price levels for aircrafts. Boeing isn't the only one, TheStreet delves into just what steel means for the U.S. economy going forward. Read more
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