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) pushed the Metals & Mining industry lower today making it today's featured Metals & Mining loser. The industry as a whole closed the day down 2.3%. By the end of trading, Vale fell 48 cents (-2.6%) to $18.04 on average volume. Throughout the day, 22.1 million shares of Vale exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 19.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $17.90-$18.64 after having opened the day at $18.28 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $18.52. Other company's within the Metals & Mining industry that declined today were:

Northern Dynasty Minerals



), down 33%,

Patriot Coal Corporation



), down 28.3%,

Golden Star Resources



), down 20.3%, and

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TheStreet Recommends

Solitario Exploration & Royalty



), down 14.3%.

Vale S.A. engages in the exploration, production, and sale of basic metals in Brazil and internationally. The company is also involved in fertilizers, logistics, and steel businesses. Vale has a market cap of $92.26 billion and is part of the

basic materials

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 4.2, equal to the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 13.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are six analysts that rate Vale a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vale as a


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

On the positive front,

L & L Energy



), up 16%,

United States Antimony Corporation



), up 11.8%,

China Gerui Advanced Materials Group



), up 11.2%, and

China Gengsheng Minerals



), up 10.3%, were all gainers within the metals & mining industry with

Ternium SA ADR



) being today's featured metals & mining industry winner.

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



) while those bearish on the metals & mining industry could consider

PowerShares DB Base Metals Sht ETN