Look What's Outperforming Gold and Silver

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's been a remarkable experience to see how gold and silver have moved in just a few weeks.

Friday, gold catapulted almost $35 an ounce to $1,743, a 2.04% one-day move.

Silver, which has been outperforming gold in a big way, did it again on the same day, climbing 3.06% to $33.67, a 27% advance from its summer of 2012 lows of around $26.25 in mid July.

Check out this chart of the two most popular exchange-traded funds that mirror the price-movement of gold and silver. For gold it's the SPDR Gold Shares ( GLD) and for silver it's the iShares Silver Trust ( SLV). Take special notice of the past 12 months up to Friday.

GLD Chart GLD data by YCharts

Don't be fooled by the flatter-looking price line for SLV. That only reflects the fact that silver trades below $50 an ounce while gold has been trading at or below $1,911 an ounce. On a percentage basis silver has outperformed and should continue to outperform its more expensively priced "big sister."

The carefully timed and globally orchestrated Massive Bond-Buying Bailout that the "Central Banks Symphony" has been playing from the shores of the Federal Reserve Bank to the Gibraltar of the European Central Bank has opened the floodgates of monetary expansion and paper currency debasement. This has been the most prevalent excuse for why gold and silver have boomed of late.

Even the "Bond King," Pimco's Bill Gross, said in a Sept. 5 interview with Bloomberg that he now believes gold, and to a similar extent silver, is a better investment opportunity at this time than stocks or bonds. It's worth your time and attention to watch the interview.

So you'd think that gold and silver stocks would be in the stratosphere and the industrial metals -- or what I like to call "less-precious metals" -- stocks would be languishing. Yet, Friday's stock session told a different story that has many investors scratching their heads.

Take a look at the companies that are my favorite proxies for gold and silver. Franco-Nevada ( FNV) and Silver Wheaton ( SLW) both operate as gold and silver streaming companies (like middlemen) who contract with gold and silver producers to buy their production at wholesale prices and then turn around and sell them at spot prices.

It's almost a risk-free business model that allows these kinds of companies to enter into lucrative purchase agreements without having the cost or dangers associated with mining and producing the precious metals.

So what struck me as both odd and inexplicable was why they both weren't up spectacularly on a day when gold was up over 2% and silver was up over 3%. After hitting a 52-week high of $54.92 on Thursday, FNV was trading down over 1% late into Friday's session.

SLW had a stellar day on Thursday, hitting a high of $35.89 before closing at $35.71. As of my last look Friday, SLW had hit a high for the day of $36.56, up 2.2% over Thursday's close on higher than average volume.

Here comes the big surprise as to which metals companies are outperforming the precious-metals sector.

Are you sitting down? The beleaguered and often disappointing king of copper production and the giant of the industrial metal world are almost as hot as molten iron.

None other than Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) and Vale S.A. ( VALE) are rocking and rolling in the free world.

It's about time!

FCX was up over 9% Friday, partly in sympathy with steel and metallurgical coal companies including Alpha Natural Resource ( ANR), the largest U.S. supplier of metallurgical coal for making steel, which rallied almost 17% as the No. 1 performer in the S&P 500 Index.

Another big climber Friday was Cliff Natural Resources ( CLF), which mines and produces iron ore pellets as well as metallurgical coal. It's been trading at a PE ratio of 4 and forward PE of slightly above 5, so it shouldn't surprise us to see the 15% plus move Friday based on hopes for a major monetary stimulus announcement from the Fed next week.

Friday's weak employment report is encouraging lots of speculation about additional quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve, so these undervalued companies that are selling at very low price-to-earnings to growth (PEG) ratios are overdue for a powerful rebound.

Speaking of low PE and PEG ratios, VALE had a nice day as well, up 7% -- matching its current 7% dividend yield. Incidentally, CLF also pays a 7.2% yield, which is a payout ratio of only 15%. VALE's payout ratio is a more uncomfortable but sustainable 52%. The following price comparison chart highlights the past four-year movements of VALE, FCX and CLF.

The big picture here is that this rally may have just begun!

VALE Chart VALE data by YCharts

Bottom line: The hope for major financial stimuli in the industrial sector of the world's economy is causing a massive shift toward revaluing these up-to-now disregarded companies.

If the Federal Reserve goes "all out" along with the European Central Bank and the Bank of China to light a big fire under the world's economic recovery prospects, well, we might just be in the early innings of a massive move higher in these stocks.

Also keep an eye on the gold and silver producers, or the sector as represented by the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX). In the silver-producing sector I like the second-largest silver miner in the world, Pan American Silver ( PAAS), a well-managed company that produces over $2.5 billion in silver and looks quite inexpensive in light of silver's current move skyward.

Once the "smart money" and the big funds begin to take the rally in gold and silver prices seriously (think of the song "Our Love is Here to Stay") then the entire small-investor camp will jump on the shining wagon. That's when we'll see the same type of monster-rally in the precious metals sector that we're beginning to see in the industrial metals sector.

Those of us that were early to the party are now seeing a swift and (hopefully) sustainable rally with the industrial metals producers.

How long we have waited and the moment seems to finally have arrived. I'm hearing the late, great Etta James singing "At Last"!

As of the time of publication the author had positions in FNV, SLW, FCX, VALE, GDX and PAAS.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real money portfolio for his charitable trust- enjoy advance notice of every trade, full access to the portfolio, and deep coverage of the latest economic events and market movements.