Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX): Today's Featured Metals & Mining Winner

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 down 0.4%. By the end of trading, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold rose 28 cents (0.8%) to $35.49 on average volume. Throughout the day, 14.7 million shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 16.8 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $34.93-$36 after having opened the day at $35 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.21. Other companies within the Metals & Mining industry that increased today were: Patriot Coal Corporation ( PCX), up 22.3%, James River Coal Company ( JRCC), up 15.6%, Northern Dynasty Minerals ( NAK), up 10.3%, and China Precision Steel ( CPSL), up 9.2%.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. engages in the exploration, mining, and production of mineral resources. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt hydroxide, silver, and other metals, such as rhenium and magnetite. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has a market cap of $33.42 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.8, 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 4.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 16 analysts that rate Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, 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 negative front, Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), down 12%, Cardero Resources Corporation ( CDY), down 10.1%, Atlatsa Resources ( ATL), down 9.5%, and Minco Gold Corporation ( MGH), down 8.2%, were all losers within the metals & mining industry with Barrick Gold Corporation ( ABX) being today's metals & mining industry loser.

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).