The Nasdaq has moved up 0.2%, the S&P 500 has remained steady and the Dow is unchanged so far today.

These are the biggest movers in the Gold and Silver sector (SLV) (+0.3%):

CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Pan American Silver Corp. (USA) (Nasdaq:PAAS)$2.35 billion-2.2%
Silvercorp Metals Inc. (USA) (NYSE:SVM)$886 million+1.9%
Harmony Gold Mining Co. (ADR) (NYSE:HMY)$4.45 billion-1.7%
Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (USA) (NYSE:AEM)$7.63 billion-1.3%
First Majestic Silver Corp (NYSE:AG)$1.92 billion+1.1%
Coeur d\'Alene Mines Corporation (NYSE:CDE)$1.78 billion+1.1%
Compania de Minas Buenaventura SA (ADR) (NYSE:BVN)$8.51 billion-1%
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Pan American Silver Corp (Nasdaq:PAAS) has fallen 2.2% and is currently trading at $15.04 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 1.1 million shares. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. In a nutshell, the price/sales ratio shows how much Wall Street values every dollar of the company's sales. The P/S ratio for PAAS is 3.8, which is relatively high. 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.

Increasing 1.9%, Silvercorp Metals Inc (NYSE:SVM) is trading at $5.29 per share. At 179,621 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.1 times the current three-month average. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. One of the favorite tools of many value investors is analyzing price/book value ratios, as it provides a measure of the underlying value of a company's assets as compared to the valuation of its equity. SVM's stock is trading for more than its book value with a P/B ratio of 2.12. This implies that investors expect management to create more value from a given set of assets and/or that the market value of the firm's assets is significantly higher than their accounting value. P/B value ratios are particularly useful to value investors, distressed or "vulture" investors, or any other investors purchasing beaten-down securities but are less useful to investors focused on growth stocks, purchasing IPOs, or investing in technology or other "asset-lite" companies. SEE: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

Harmony Gold Mining Co (NYSE:HMY) is trading at $10.16 per share, down 1.7%. So far today, the company's volume is 750,077 shares. If a stock is trading on low volume, then there is not much interest in the stock. On the other hand, if a stock is trading on high volume, then there is a lot of interest in the stock. 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 dividend yield is calculated by dividing a company's dividends per share by its stock price. HMY has a low dividend yield of 1%. If you are an income investor, this stock may not be attractive to you. Just as with the yield on a bond or certificate of deposit, the higher the dividend yield, the higher the return to the investor. SEE: Guide To Stock-Picking Strategies: Income Investing

Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE:AEM) is currently trading at a share price of $43.93, a 1.3% decline. At 946,137 shares, the company's volume so far today is in keeping with its current daily average. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. The debt ratio measures the leverage of a company, and a company's leverage is a good way to assess risk. AEM's debt ratio of 35.4% 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. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

After an increase of 1.1%, First Majestic (NYSE:AG) has reached a current price of $16.83. So far today, 167,561 shares have changed hands. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio is a leverage ratio. AG has a low debt-equity ratio of 4%. Companies with low D/E ratios are more attractive to investors because they are better able to protect their business interests in times of decline. 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.

Coeur d'Alene (NYSE:CDE) is at $19.96 per share after an increase of 1.1%. With 423,790 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.2 times its average over the past three months. 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. A company's capitalization (not to be confused with its market capitalization) is the term used to describe the makeup of a company's permanent or long-term capital, which consists of both long-term debt and shareholders' equity. The capitalizion ratio of 2.4% is on the low end. Investors generally consider a company with low debt and high equity levels is a good quality investment. A low level of debt and a healthy proportion of equity in a company's capital structure is an indication of financial fitness.

After a decline of 1%, Compania de Minas Buenaventura SA (NYSE:BVN) has hit a share price of $33.10. So far today, 215,944 shares of the company's stock have changed hands. At this rate, trading activity will likely be down from yesterday when 695,831 shares changed hands. 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. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. Perhaps one of the most widely-used stock analysis tools is the price-to-earnings ratio, or P/E. BVN's P/E ratio is 9.9. To determine the P/E ratio, an investor divides the market price of the stock by the earnings-per-share (EPS) of the stock. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Earnings Ratio

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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Tickers in this Article: PAAS, SVM, HMY, AEM, AG, CDE, BVN

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