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) pushed the Metals & Mining industry higher today making it today's featured metals & mining winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.7%. By the end of trading, Vale rose $0.22 (1.6%) to $14.45 on average volume. Throughout the day, 15,191,804 shares of Vale exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17,817,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $14.14-$14.47 after having opened the day at $14.17 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $14.23. Other companies within the Metals & Mining industry that increased today were:

Crosshair Energy



), up 13.2%,

Quest Rare Minerals



), up 12.9%,

International Tower Hill Mines



), up 11.9% and

Alderon Iron Ore



), up 11.6%.

Vale S.A. engages in the research, production, and marketing of iron ore and pellets, nickel, fertilizers, copper, coal, manganese, ferroalloys, cobalt, platinum group metals, and precious metals in Brazil and internationally. Vale has a market cap of $74.5 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 31.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Vale a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Vale as a


. 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 and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and feeble growth in the company's earnings per share.

On the negative front,

China Gengsheng Minerals



), down 19.6%,

Prospect Global Resources



), down 10.1%,

Uranium Resources



), down 9.4% and

Pacific Booker Minerals



), down 8.5% , were all laggards within the metals & mining industry with

Alpha Natural Resources



) being today's metals & mining industry laggard.

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




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