Early reports (see here and here) indicate that Trump signed two executive orders on Wednesday afternoon. One orders the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, ends "catch-and-release," calls for the publication of data on the aid the government provides to Mexico, cracks down on asylum fraud and adds 5,000 Customs and Border Patrol agents, along with other other measures. Trump reiterated his promise that Mexico would reimburse the U.S. "100%" for the cost of the wall. (Read more: Trump Executive Orders)
Regardless of anyone's personal feelings on the matter, all executive orders will have winners and losers. This one should bode well for steel stocks and steel ETFs.
For investors who are wary of the impact on steel stocks but want some exposure, the Market Vectors Steel ETF (SLX) is one possible play. The ETF seeks to replicate the price and yield performance of the NYSE Arca Steel Index. The index includes companies primarily involved in a variety of activities related to steel production, including the operation of manufacturing mills and fabrication of steel products. (See also: Inside the Market Vectors Steel ETF: AK Steel.)
Among the SLX's holdings are AK Steel Holding Corporation (AKS) and Nucor Corporation (NUE), the nation's largest steel manufacturer. Both firms should benefit from higher production and higher sales assuming that Trump's wall begins construction within his first year of presidency.
What's more, given Trump's position on trade and anti-competitive trade practices imposed on steel imports, U.S.-based steel stocks will also see their market share increase. The Chinese government has been criticized for subsidizing the steel market and manipulating its currency to keep steel exports cheap and imports expensive. (See also: Donald Trump Economic Policies.)
Given President Trump's promise to strengthen U.S. businesses, while also accusing China of illegal trade practices, American steel might get a boost.