The metals & mining industry closed the day up 5.2%. China Precision Steel Inc ( CPSL), Crosshair Exploration & Mining ( CXZ), James River Coal Company ( JRCC), and Timberline Resources Corporation ( TLR) were all winners today within the metals & mining industry with Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) being today's featured metals & mining winner. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold rose $2.23 (6.9%) to $34.36 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 36.1 million shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 19.9 million shares.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. engages in the exploration, mining, and production of mineral resources. It primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, silver, and cobalt deposits. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has a market cap of $28.3 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.1, below the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio of 8.3 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 46.5% 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 robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the negative front, USEC Inc ( USU), Sinocoking Coal and Coke Chemicals Inc ( SCOK), Insteel Industries Inc ( IIIN), and Westmoreland Coal ( WLB) were all losers within the metals & mining industry with Taseko Mines Ltd NPL ( TGB) being today's metals & mining industry Loser Spotlight stock.

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).