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Tickers in this Article: SA, HMY, BVN, RGLD, MUX, AU, GFI
It's been a good morning for the market. The Nasdaq has climbed 0.3%; the S&P 500 has increased 0.1%; and the Dow is trading up 0.2%.

Despite a good day for the overall market so far, the Gold and Silver sector (SLV) is down 0.6% and its current biggest movers are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Seabridge Gold, Inc (NYSE:SA)$771.7 million+3.9%
Harmony Gold Mining Co (NYSE:HMY)$3.62 billion+1.2%
Compania de Minas Buenaventura SA (NYSE:BVN)$9.41 billion-1%
Royal Gold (Nasdaq:RGLD)$5.12 billion+1%
McEwen Mining (NYSE:MUX)$787.8 million-0.9%
AngloGold Ashanti Limited (NYSE:AU)$13.14 billion-0.9%
Gold Fields Limited (NYSE:GFI)$8.97 billion-0.9%
Beginner's Guide To

Seabridge Gold, Inc (NYSE:SA) has risen 3.9% and is currently trading at $18.46 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 194,936 shares. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. The debt ratio shows the proportion of assets that a company is financing through debt. SA's debt ratio of 4.9% is on the low side. This indicates that the company engages in conservative financing with opportunities to borrow in the future at no significant risk. However, one thing to note with this ratio: it isn't a pure measure of a company's debt (or indebtedness), as it also includes operational liabilities, such as accounts payable and taxes payable.

Harmony Gold Mining Co (NYSE:HMY) has risen 1.2% to hit a current price of $8.49 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 750,114 shares, 0.3 times the average volume over the last three months. As a stock moves up or down, it is important to pay attention to the trading volume. This indicates the level of interest: the higher the volume, the more the interest. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. While measuring a price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio) is a popular valuation technique, the measure cannot be calculated for companies without earnings, so some investors analyze the price/sales ratio. The P/S ratio for HMY is 2.28, which is relatively high. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. All things being equal, a low P/S ratio is good news for investors, while a very high one can be a warning sign.

After a decline of 1%, Compania de Minas Buenaventura SA (NYSE:BVN) has hit a share price of $36.62. The company's volume for the day so far is 102,026 shares. At this rate, trading activity will likely be down from yesterday when 1.1 million shares changed hands. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. In making a decision about a potential or existing investment, valuation ratios are useful as a basis for seeing whether the stock price is too high, reasonable, or a bargain. The capitalization ratio measures the debt component of the capital structure, or capitalization of a company (i.e., the sum of long-term debt liabilities and shareholder equity) to support operations and growth. BVN's capitalization ratio is 3.4%, which is relatively low. Investors generally consider a company with low debt and high equity levels is a good quality investment. Prudent use of leverage (debt) increases the financial resources available to a company for growth and expansion.

After an increase of 1%, Royal Gold (Nasdaq:RGLD) has reached a current price of $87.80. The company's volume is currently 141,721 shares for the day, 0.2 times its current daily average. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. Valuation ratios like the price to earnings (P/E) ratio, the price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio, the price to sales (P/S) ratio, the price to book (P/B) ratio, and the dividend yield are useful in determining how attractive a potential or existing investment is. To a large degree, the debt-equity (D/E) ratio provides another vantage point on a company's leverage position, in this case, comparing total liabilities to shareholders' equity, as opposed to total assets in the debt ratio. The debt-equity ratio of 16% is relatively low. This shows that the company's assets are financed primarily through equity. This easy-to-calculate ratio provides a general indication of a company's equity-liability relationship and is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on a company's leverage.

McEwen Mining (NYSE:MUX) is down 0.9% to reach $4.24 per share. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 825,776 shares. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. A company's value as an investment is more easily estimated using valuation ratios such as the price to earnings (P/E) ratio, the price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio, the price to sales (P/S) ratio, the price to book (P/B) ratio, and the dividend yield. If the price/book value ratio of a stock is high, it may indicate that the stock is expensive, while a lower ratio may indicate that the stock is a bargain. MUX's stock is trading for less than its book value as can be seen from it's P/B value of 0.9. This could mean that either the market believes the asset value is overstated, or the company is earning a very poor (even negative) return on its assets. All else being equal, a stock with a low P/B value ratio is more attractive than a stock with a high ratio. SEE: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

AngloGold Ashanti Limited (NYSE:AU) is currently trading at a share price of $33.78, a 0.9% decline. The company's volume is currently 540,554 shares for the day, 0.3 times its current three-month average. Volume is an important indicator in technical analysis as it is used to measure the worth of a market move. If the markets have made a strong price move either up or down the perceived strength of that move depends on the volume for that period. The higher the volume during that price move the more significant the move. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. Dividend yield measures the income that a stock will generate for an investor. AU has a low dividend yield of 1.2%. This could indicate that that the stock is overpriced or that future dividends might be higher. For income-oriented investors such as retirees, a stock with a high dividend yield may be more attractive than a stock with a low dividend yield. SEE: Dividend Yield For The Downturn

Falling 0.9%, Gold Fields Limited (NYSE:GFI) is currently at a share price of $12.20. The company is trading at a volume of four million shares. This is on pace to reach yesterday's trading volume of 8.5 million shares. Price change alone is not enough to know how a stock is doing. Volume is an important secondary indicator used to confirm trends suggested by price movement. Valuation ratios include the price to earnings (P/E) ratio, the price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio, the price to sales (P/S) ratio, the price to book (P/B) ratio, and the dividend yield. One of the most important estimates of stock market valuation is the price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio). GFI has a P/E ratio of 10.7. From the investor's perspective, a stock with a lower ratio is relatively cheaper than a stock with a higher ratio. SEE: How To Use The P/E Ratio And PEG To Tell The Future Of A Stock

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. It is important to weigh current activity against historical performance when making any investment decisions. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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