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Gerdau ( GGB) pushed the Metals & Mining industry lower today making it today's featured Metals & Mining laggard. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, Gerdau fell $0.14 (-1.8%) to $7.50 on average volume. Throughout the day, 7,661,035 shares of Gerdau exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,652,400 shares. The stock ranged in price between $7.48-$7.68 after having opened the day at $7.64 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $7.64. Other companies within the Metals & Mining industry that declined today were: Prospect Global Resources ( PGRX), down 18.0%, Crosshair Energy ( CXZ), down 14.5%, L & L Energy ( LLEN), down 14.1% and China Gengsheng Minerals ( CHGS), down 10.8%.

Gerdau S.A. engages in the production and commercialization of steel products worldwide. Gerdau has a market cap of $12.9 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are down 15.0% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 3 analysts that rate Gerdau a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Gerdau as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have evaluated. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and poor profit margins.

On the positive front, Rare Element Resources ( REE), up 10.0%, AK Steel Holding Corporation ( AKS), up 6.7%, Mechel OAO ( MTL), up 6.5% and Sibanye Gold Ltd ADR ( SBGL), up 6.2% , were all gainers within the metals & mining industry with Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) being today's featured metals & mining industry leader.

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).

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