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Tickers in this Article: PAAS, CDE, ABX, AEM, GG, RGLD, SLW
The market is on the rise this morning. The Nasdaq has climbed 0.8%; the S&P 500 is up 0.3%; and the Dow has risen 0.3%.

Outperforming the market overall, the Gold and Silver sector (SLV) is up 1.4% and its biggest movers so far today are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Pan American Silver Corp. (USA) (Nasdaq:PAAS)$2.34 billion+5.1%
Coeur d\'Alene Mines Corporation (NYSE:CDE)$1.8 billion+3.9%
Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX)$34.71 billion+3.6%
Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (USA) (NYSE:AEM)$7.54 billion+3.3%
Goldcorp Inc. (USA) (NYSE:GG)$29.76 billion+3.2%
Royal Gold, Inc. (Nasdaq:RGLD)$4.45 billion+2.5%
Silver Wheaton Corp. (USA) (NYSE:SLW)$10.88 billion+2.5%
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Pan American Silver Corp (Nasdaq:PAAS) has risen 5.1% and is currently trading at $16.14 per share. At 887,124 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.7 times the current daily average. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. 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 price/sales ratio is used for spotting recovery situations or for double-checking that a company's growth has not become overvalued. PAAS' P/S ratio of 3.8 is on the high side. In young companies, a high P/S ratio is a sign of sales growth that is expected to turn into earnings and cash flow. It is important to keep in mind when looking at the P/S ratio that just because a company is generating revenues, this does not mean that the company is profitable, and in the long run, profits drive stock prices.

After rising 3.9%, Coeur d'Alene (NYSE:CDE) is currently trading at a share price of $20.79. So far today, 636,377 shares have changed hands. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. The debt ratio is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. The debt ratio for CDE is a low 33.2%. This indicates that the company engages in conservative financing with opportunities to borrow in the future at no significant risk. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX) is up 3.6% to reach a current price of $35.95 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 4.1 million shares, 0.6 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. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio is a leverage ratio. ABX's D/E ratio is 56%. The D/E ratio is not a pure measurement of a company's debt because it includes operational liabilities in total liabilities.

Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE:AEM) is currently trading at $45.39 per share, a 3.3% increase. The company's volume for the day so far is 504,634 shares. This is on pace to fall short of yesterday's volume of 1.7 million shares. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. While investment valuation ratios are useful tools in estimating the attractiveness of an investment, remember that it is important to look at a company's historical performance and compare the company ratios with its competitors and industry overall. The capitalization ratio is calculated by dividing long-term debt by the sum of long-term debt and shareholders' equity. AEM has a low capitalization ratio of 20.2%. Low leverage is a significant balance sheet strength, a sign of a less risky investment. This ratio is considered to be one of the more meaningful of the "debt" ratios - it delivers the key insight into the use of leverage by a company.

After an increase of 3.2%, Goldcorp Inc (NYSE:GG) has reached a current price of $37.88. At 1.7 million shares, the company's volume so far today is consistent with its current daily average. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. A wide array of ratios can be used by investors to estimate the attractiveness of a potential or existing investment and get an idea of its valuation. The price/book value ratio is especially important for value investors as it can provide an indication of the true value of a company's assets at a time when its business model may be failing. The P/B ratio for GG is 1.38, indicating that the stock is trading for more than its book value. It is important to take the company's debt into account when using the P/B ratio as debt can boost a company's liabilities to the point where they wipe out much of the book value of its hard assets, creating artificially high P/B values. Users need to be careful when applying this ratio though, as it is more useful for industrial companies that have a lot of tangible assets than it is for technology or consumer product companies that may not have much in the way of hard assets. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

Royal Gold (Nasdaq:RGLD) has increased to a share price of $77.56, a 2.5% rise. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 209,913 shares. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. A simple P/E ratio can reveal the stock's real market value and show how the valuation compares to its industry group or a benchmark like the S&P 500 Index. RGLD has a P/E ratio of 47.8. 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

Rising 2.5%, Silver Wheaton Corp (NYSE:SLW) is currently trading at $31.53 per share. The company's volume is currently 1.5 million shares for the day, in keeping with its current three-month average. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. 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. The assumption with high price/earnings stocks (generally of the growth variety) is that investors are willing to buy at a high price because they believe that the stock has significant growth potential, and the price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio helps investors determine the degree of reliability of that growth assumption. SLW has a PEG ratio of 0.81. While P/E ratios are important indicators of market value, a high P/E in and of itself is not bad because it may indicate a company whose earnings are growing very rapidly, so many investors look at the PEG ratio in order to get an idea of whether or not a particular P/E ratio is justified by underlying earnings growth.

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. It is important to weigh current activity against historical performance when making any investment decisions. Tools like valuation ratios and profit margins, however, are only as useful as the context you put them in; remember to take historical data and competitor performance into account.

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