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Tickers in this Article: RGLD, MUX, SA, SSRI, IAG, GOLD, GFI
The Nasdaq has decreased 0.2%, the S&P 500 is trading down 0.2% and the Dow is down 0.2% on a bad morning for the market.

The Gold and Silver sector (SLV) is relatively unchanged on a bad day for the market overall. The current biggest movers in the sector are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Royal Gold, Inc. (Nasdaq:RGLD)$4.52 billion-3.2%
McEwen Mining Inc (NYSE:MUX)$622.9 million-3.1%
Seabridge Gold, Inc. (USA) (NYSE:SA)$638.3 million+3%
Silver Standard Resources Inc. (USA) (Nasdaq:SSRI)$1.09 billion-2.3%
IAMGOLD Corporation (USA) (NYSE:IAG)$4.26 billion+1.7%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (ADR) (Nasdaq:GOLD)$9.02 billion+1.6%
Gold Fields Limited (ADR) (NYSE:GFI)$9.74 billion+1.5%
Beginner's Guide To

Royal Gold (Nasdaq:RGLD) is trading at $74.33 per share, down 3.2%. The company is currently trading a volume of 569,580 shares. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. The price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio is calculated by dividing the price/earnings ratio by growth in earnings-per-share; the lower the PEG ratio, the more reasonably valued the security. PEG ratio for RGLD is consistent with the industry average at 4.78. 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.

McEwen Mining (NYSE:MUX) has decreased to $3.47 per share, a 3.1% fall. The company's volume is currently 762,577 shares for the day, consistent with its 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. The price/book value ratio provides a way of evaluating whether a stock is relatively cheap or expensive. MUX's stock is trading for less than its book value as can be seen from it's P/B value of 0.67. Industries that require more infrastructure capital (for each dollar of profit) will usually trade at P/B ratios much lower than those that don't. 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: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

Seabridge Gold, Inc (NYSE:SA) has increased to a share price of $15.23, a 3% rise. So far today, the company's volume is 96,249 shares. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in determining the value of a stock, but it is very important to keep in mind that while some financial ratios have general rules (or a broad application), in most instances it is a prudent practice to look at a company's historical performance and use peer company/industry comparisons to put any given company's ratio in perspective. The debt ratio gives users a quick measure of the amount of debt that the company has on its balance sheets compared to its assets. SA has a debt ratio of 5%, which is fairly low. In other words, the company is less sensitive to changes in business or interest rates since less of its cash flow is dedicated to paying off loan expenses. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

At $13.16, Silver Standard Resources Inc (Nasdaq:SSRI) has slipped 2.3%. The company's volume is currently 359,558 shares for the day, in keeping with its current daily average. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. 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. Price/earnings ratios (P/E ratios) provide a measure of the relative value of a stock. Compared to the industry average of 1.94, SSRI's P/E ratio of 15.2 is quite high. Usually, if a stock has a high P/E ratio, it indicates that the market expects the company to grow earnings quickly in the future. A high P/E ratio indicates a stock that is expensive, while a low P/E ratio indicates a stock that is cheap. SEE: Understanding The P/E Ratio

IAMGOLD Corporation (NYSE:IAG) is currently trading at $11.52 per share, a 1.7% increase. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 622,492 shares. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. The price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio divides a company's P/E ratio by its growth rate of earnings-per-share. IAG's PEG ratio is 1.83. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

Randgold Resources Ltd (Nasdaq:GOLD) has moved up 1.6% and is currently trading at $99.83 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 345,642 shares, 0.7 times its average over the past three months. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. 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. GOLD's P/B ratio of 4.0 shows that its share price is higher 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. A weakness of the P/B value ratio is that while the price component is easily determined by looking at the stock quote, the book value component is more difficult to estimate and more open to individual interpretation and analysis. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

Gold Fields Limited (NYSE:GFI) has risen 1.5% to hit a current price of $13.82 per share. The company's volume is currently 1.2 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. 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. Dividend yield is a way to measure how much cash flow you are getting for each dollar invested in an equity position - in other words, how much "bang for your buck" you are getting from dividends. GFI has a dividend yield of 4.5%. 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: Due Diligence On Dividends

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. Daily stock performance should be weighed against historical performance and put in context of the market overall. 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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