"Investors seem to be interested in how to play this improved economic story ... and with the Dow Jones Industrial Average going over 12,000, there's now a focus on what are the pro growth assets," says Rhind For those still believing in gold, many analysts think that mining stocks make the good buy right now. Dan Denbow, co-portfolio manager for the USAA Precious Metals and Minerals fund, down 10.75% year to date, says large gold stocks provide value. "Last year when we saw a lot of M&A activity ... we saw the more speculative names move up and the larger names have lagged that and therefore they are looking more attractive based on valuation." Silver prices closed up 43 cents to $28.72 while copper was flat at $4.54. Gold mining stocks , a risky but profitable way to buy gold, were popping. Kinross Gold ( KGC) was up 1.77% at $17.28 while NovaGold ( NG) was adding almost 6% at $14.43. Other gold stocks New Gold ( NGD) and Gold Fields ( GFI) were trading at $8.95 and $16.19, respectively. Newmont Mining ( NEM) announced that it would acquire Fronteer Gold ( FRG) for $2.3 billion, a 37% premium. Shares of Newmont were 2.58% higher at $57.09. -- Written by Alix Steel in New York.