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Steel Stocks Rise After Steel Dynamics Report

Stocks of steel makers rose a day after Steel Dynamics reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and said it expected growing demand for steel.

DALLAS (AP) -- Stocks of steel makers rose Tuesday, a day after Steel Dynamics Inc. reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and said it expected growing demand this year for steel in autos and other industries.

Steel makers have benefited lately from being able to charge higher prices. An improving economy would help them further by strengthening demand for steel.

In midday trading:

--Steel Dynamics shares rose 83 cents, almost 5 percent, to $18.29;

--United States Steel Corp. was up $2.39, almost 5 percent, at $52.88;

--Nucor Corp. gained 89 cents, or 2 percent, to $45.67; and

--AK Steel Holding Corp. added 71 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $16.10.

Mini-mill operator Steel Dynamics said its first-quarter net income jumped 63 percent to $105.9 million, or 46 cents per share. Analysts had expected 41 cents per share, according to FactSet. The company's revenue of $2 billion also topped forecasts of $1.9 billion.

Steel Dynamics said selling prices for steel rose 18 percent from January through March.

The company said it expected steel demand to grow through 2011 led by consumption from industries such as autos and energy. CEO Keith Busse said the second quarter should be solid.

However, the company said the construction market was still a challenge. And Citigroup analyst Brian Yu said the Steel Dynamics results were driven by profits in the company's recycling business and possibly its hedging against copper prices.

Yu said he didn't see meaningful signs in the report for other steel makers.

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