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Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX): Today's Featured Metals & Mining Laggard

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) pushed the Metals & Mining industry lower today making it today's featured Metals & Mining laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1.2%. By the end of trading, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold fell $0.48 (-1.7%) to $28.05 on light volume. Throughout the day, 11,748,331 shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 19,327,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $27.91-$28.50 after having opened the day at $28.45 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $28.53. Other companies within the Metals & Mining industry that declined today were: Sibanye Gold Ltd ADR ( SBGL), down 42.9%, Asanko Gold ( AKG), down 25.6%, Gold Resource ( GORO), down 15.0% and China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), down 10.8%.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. engages in the exploration of mineral resource properties. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt, silver, and other metals, such as rhenium and magnetite. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has a market cap of $26.2 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 19.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), up 36.4%, Cardero Resources Corporation ( CDY), up 20.4%, USEC ( USU), up 9.7% and Golden Star Resources ( GSS), up 6.0%.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the metals & mining industry could consider SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF ( XME) while those bearish on the metals & mining industry could consider PowerShares DB Base Metals Sht ETN ( BOS).

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