Diamonds and Dogs


An early holiday gift for SolarCity (SCTY). The stock is jumping 26% along with the sector after U.S. lawmakers agreed to extend a key federal tax credit. In a deal announced late Tuesday, Congress approved an additional five years for the investment tax credit, which is scheduled to end at the end of 2016. It also provided a five-year retroactive extension for the production tax credit, which benefits wind-power developers and expired at the end of 2014. Solar companies got an additional boost from California, where regulators proposed upholding policies that promote the use of rooftop panels, erasing another big question mark. A good day for solar.

More pain for commodities. The oils are weak, but today's dog is in the steel space. Nucor (NUE) is forecasting a very weak fourth quarter with earnings per share projected at as little as one-third of current analysts' expectations. Company projects earnings at 15 to 20 cents per share verse estimates of 49 cents. Even the lowest estimate among the analysts had projected earnings at 39 cents per share. The Charlotte-based steelmaker says the global steel market has deteriorated with too much steel being produced and high import levels in the United States. Prices have dropped more steeply than raw material prices, further hurting earnings in the quarter. Nucor says anti-dumping measures for some steel products should help earnings in the first quarter of 2016 but are working too slow to be of any help in the current quarter.

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