Last month, infrastructure stocks including cement maker Cemex (CX 0.44%) enjoyed a brief resurgence in response to a tweet from President Trump urging Congress to pass a $2 trillion infrastructure bill -- the same bill the president has been promising since before he was even inaugurated.
It hasn't happened yet. And judging today by how investors are treating shares of Cemex and fellow construction industry stocks Mobile Mini (MINI) and Trex (TREX -1.23%), it may not happen anytime soon. As of 2 p.m. EDT Friday, shares of Mobile Mini were down 9.6%, Cemex was off 11.4%, and Trex had fallen 12%.
Cemex stock got downgraded to underperform by analysts at investment bank BBVA, but that happened Thursday morning. And Trex suffered a recent price target cut to $75 a share, but that was three days ago.
In terms of macroeconomics, however, there's plenty bad going on:
- The U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs warned on Wednesday that global GDP could shrink nearly 1% this year.
- Fitch ratings predicted Thursday that a deep global recession is going to turn worldwide GDP negative to the tune of 1.9%, twice as bad as the U.N. is modeling.
- Today, Morgan Stanley warned that real U.S. GDP could drop 5.5% in 2020.
- And Bank of America thinks the situation could be even worse: the "deepest recession on record," subtracting 10.4% from U.S. GDP this year.
None of that would be good news for construction stocks like Cemex, Trex, and Mobile Mini. Lousy growth numbers would cut demand for new construction, and with it, for cement (Cemex), lumber alternatives (Trex), and the construction-site trailers that Mobile Mini leases to builders as well.
All of this could change in a heartbeat if we see momentum build in Congress for an infrastructure bill of the scale the president called for earlier this week. For the time being, though, investors seem to be voting against the likelihood of that happening. The president hasn't tweeted word one about infrastructure in the past three days, and investors are retreating from construction stocks on the apparent loss in interest.