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Tickers in this Article: AG, KGC, SVM, MUX, HL, IAG, GFI
It's been a good morning for the market. The Nasdaq is trading up 0.6%; the S&P 500 has moved up 0.5%; and the Dow has increased 0.6%.

Despite a good day for the overall market so far, the Gold and Silver sector (SLV) is down 0.2% and its current biggest movers are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
First Majestic (NYSE:AG)$2.18 billion+3.4%
Kinross Gold Corporation (NYSE:KGC)$10.07 billion+1.4%
Silvercorp Metals Inc (NYSE:SVM)$998.7 million+1.4%
McEwen Mining (NYSE:MUX)$725.3 million+1%
Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL)$1.54 billion-0.8%
IAMGOLD Corporation (NYSE:IAG)$4.95 billion-0.6%
Gold Fields Limited (NYSE:GFI)$9.53 billion-0.6%
Forex Broker Summary: Forex Capital Markets (FXCM)

First Majestic (NYSE:AG) is up 3.4% to reach a current price of $19.51 per share. So far today, 437,234 shares have changed hands, lighter than yesterday's volume of 1.4 million 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. 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. AG's PEG ratio is 1.76. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

Kinross Gold Corporation (NYSE:KGC) has risen 1.4% and is currently trading at $8.96 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 3.4 million shares. This is in keeping with its current three-month average. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. The price/book value ratio, often expressed simply as "price-to-book", provides investors a way to compare the market value, or what they are paying for each share, to a conservative measure of the value of the firm. KGC's P/B ratio of 0.79 indicates that its share price is lower than its book value. This is due to one of two possibilities: that the stock is being unfairly or incorrectly undervalued by investors because of some transitory circumstance and represents an attractive buying opportunity at a bargain price or that the market's low opinion and valuation of the company are correct, at least over the foreseeable future. P/B has its shortcomings but is still widely used as a valuation metric, more relevant for use by investors looking at capital-intensive or finance-related businesses, such as banks; book value does not carry much meaning for service-based firms with few tangible assets. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

After rising 1.4%, Silvercorp Metals Inc (NYSE:SVM) is currently trading at a share price of $5.93. The company's volume is currently 363,090 shares for the day, 0.2 times the average daily volume. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. 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. The P/E ratio has been used for ages by analysts and still remains one of the most relevant pieces of stock valuation. SVM has a P/E ratio of 11.9, high compared to the industry average of 1.24. This could mean that the market is expecting big things over the next few months or years. A high P/E ratio indicates a stock that is expensive, while a low P/E ratio indicates a stock that is cheap. SEE: How To Find P/E And PEG Ratios

McEwen Mining (NYSE:MUX) is at $3.98 per share after an increase of 1%. So far today, 521,456 shares have changed hands. 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. 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 price/sales ratio measures a company's stock market value by its total revenues or alternatively, a company's price per share by its revenue per share. The P/S ratio for MUX is a high 301.0. 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.

Slipping 0.8%, Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) is currently trading at $5.35 per share. This morning, 2.1 million shares have been traded, which is likely to result in less activity than yesterday's volume of 9.5 million shares. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. 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 measures the leverage of a company, and a company's leverage is a good way to assess risk. HL has a debt ratio of 17.6%, which is fairly low. 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.

Currently trading at $13.09 per share, IAMGOLD Corporation (NYSE:IAG) has fallen 0.6%. So far today, 992,998 shares have changed hands. This is 0.4 times its current three-month average. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. The dividend yield is calculated by dividing a company's dividends per share by its stock price. IAG has a dividend yield of 1.9%, which is fairly low. A company with a low dividend yield may be a safer investment in the long run. It is important to remember that while a higher dividend yield is more attractive, all else being equal, a higher dividend yield can also indicate greater perceived risk. SEE: Dividend Yield For The Downturn

Gold Fields Limited (NYSE:GFI) is down 0.6% to reach $13.10 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 1.9 million shares, consistent with its current daily average. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. 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. GFI's stock is trading for more than its book value with a P/B ratio of 1.64. This may be a sign that the company is overvalued. 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: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. Keep in mind that all these ratios should be compared against historical numbers and industry information in order to get a more complete picture.

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