What happened

Gold is up more than 2% today, while silver has jumped almost 5%. At $1,945 per ounce, gold last touched this level on Sept. 18, 2020. And silver hasn't been meaningfully above its current $25 per ounce level since that same time period. 

The move has shares of the precious metal miners also popping today. Hecla Mining (HL -3.18%) is leading the way, with shares up more than 13% as of 2:30 p.m. EST. Coeur Mining (CDE -2.04%) and Fortuna Silver Mines (FSM -0.98%) are both up about 12%, while Pan American Silver (PAAS -1.84%), McEwen Mining (MUX -0.73%), Gold Fields (GFI 0.41%), and Harmony Gold Mining (HMY) are also up double digits.

Shares of Kinross Gold (KGC -0.91%) are the laggard, but its shares are still up almost 8% on the day. 

So what

Prices of the metals themselves continue to march higher on the heels of this week's election, as the dollar weakens. 

Rising stock charts with gold nuggets in background

Image source: Getty Images.

Investors are watching the vote count and moving up the odds that Joe Biden is able to earn enough electoral votes to claim the presidency. Rhona O'Connell, analyst for institutional financial services network StoneX, summed up the feeling that "a democrat in the White House would lead to a weakening of the dollar because of the additional spending and the nature of the mandates that he would set." 

Now what

Any situation driving the price of the metals higher will quickly reflect the financial performance of the miners. Barrick Gold (GOLD -2.36%), with shares up a relatively subdued 7%, reported its quarterly earnings today and discussed the benefit of higher gold prices. The company rewarded shareholders with a 12.5% increase in its quarterly dividend. 

A rising tide of increasing metals prices lifts all mining boats, regardless of the operation. Hecla, for example, is the largest primary silver producer in the U.S. Canada-based Fortuna Silver has gold and silver mines in Peru, Mexico, and Argentina. Gold Fields Limited is one of the world's largest gold mining firms, and Harmony's operations are in South Africa and Papua New Guinea. 

Investors, however, looking for an edge over the metal itself, need to dig deeper into the miners. In its earnings release, Barrick said it increased its operating cash flow by 80% quarter over quarter. 

Several of the other miners with strong share gains today have quarterly reports coming in the next week. Investors should look into the details of the operations and finances before buying. Otherwise, those without the time or inclination may be best suited to own the metal itself.