Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold

(

FCX

) pushed the Metals & Mining industry higher today making it today's featured metals & mining winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 7%. By the end of trading, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold rose $3.12 (8.6%) to $39.60 on average volume. Throughout the day, 23.9 million shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 24.8 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $38.51-$39.65 after having opened the day at $38.92 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $36.48. Other companies within the Metals & Mining industry that increased today were:

Avalon Rare Metals Inc

(

AVL

), up 23.3%,

James River Coal Company

(

JRCC

), up 21.4%,

Patriot Coal Corporation

(

PCX

), up 19.9%, and

Ur-Energy Inc

(

URG

), up 17.2%.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. engages in the exploration, mining, and production of mineral resources. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, silver, and cobalt. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has a market cap of $32.06 billion and is part of the

basic materials

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of six, below the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio of 9.8 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 39.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Freeport-McMoRan Copper as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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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