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Tickers in this Article: GOLD, IAG, PAAS, CDE, NEM, SLW, RGLD
On a good day for the market, the Nasdaq is trading up 1.1%, the S&P 500 is up 0.6% and the Dow has increased 0.4%.

The Gold and Silver sector (SLV) is down 0.2% on a good day for the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Randgold Resources Ltd (Nasdaq:GOLD)$10.51 billion+5.1%
IAMGOLD Corporation (NYSE:IAG)$5.53 billion+4.6%
Pan American Silver Corp (Nasdaq:PAAS)$2.98 billion+3.9%
Coeur d\'Alene (NYSE:CDE)$2.41 billion+3.3%
Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM)$27.24 billion+3.3%
Silver Wheaton Corp (NYSE:SLW)$13.55 billion+3.1%
Royal Gold (Nasdaq:RGLD)$5.39 billion+2.9%
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Randgold Resources Ltd (Nasdaq:GOLD) is up 5.1% to reach a current price of $120.22 per share. So far today, 856,106 shares of the company's stock have changed hands. Yesterday's volume was only 647,387 shares. 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. A company's investment value can be 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 debt ratio measures the leverage of a company, and a company's leverage is a good way to assess risk. GOLD has a low debt ratio of 15.2%. 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.

IAMGOLD Corporation (NYSE:IAG) has moved up 4.6% and is currently trading at $15.36 per share. At two million shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.8 times the average daily volume. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. 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. For investors primarily interested in the income a stock can generate, the dividend yield is an important determinant of how attractive a stock is. IAG's dividend yield of 1.7% is fairly low. 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: Guide To Stock-Picking Strategies: Income Investing

Pan American Silver Corp (Nasdaq:PAAS) has risen 3.9% and is currently trading at $20.37 per share. So far today, 1.7 million shares have changed hands. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. The price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio divides a company's P/E ratio by its growth rate of earnings-per-share. PEG ratio for PAAS is 1.6. 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.

Rising 3.3%, Coeur d'Alene (NYSE:CDE) is currently trading at $27.69 per share. With 1.2 million shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.7 times its average over the past three months. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. The price/book value ratio is one of the more common methods of determining whether a stock is fairly valued. The P/B ratio for CDE is 1.13, indicating that the stock is trading for more than its book value. 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 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: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

Rising 3.3%, Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) is currently trading at $57.28 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 6.1 million shares. This is about the same trading activity as there was yesterday. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock 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. A company's price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio) provides a measure of how expensive or cheap a stock is. NEM's P/E ratio is 114.3. A high or low P/E ratio is not good or bad in and of itself, but a company trading with a high P/E ratio must continue to post strong financial performance or its stock price is likely to fall. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Earnings Ratio

After rising 3.1%, Silver Wheaton Corp (NYSE:SLW) is currently trading at a share price of $39.49. At five million shares, the company's volume so far today is 1.1 times the average daily volume. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. 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. 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 SLW is 12.2, which is relatively high. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. A limitation of the P/S ratio is that the price component measures only stock market captialization, while sales are a function of the entire capital structure, potentially leading to wide differences between levered and unlevered companies.

Increasing 2.9%, Royal Gold (Nasdaq:RGLD) is trading at $94.26 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 371,636 shares. 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 make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. 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. The debt ratio for RGLD is a low 22.5%. 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.

The Bottom Line On any given day, a particular stock may see positive or negative change in its share price. 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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