People watch stocks for different reasons -- they're waiting for a dip in price, watching for a specific catalyst, gathering all the news and information that might affect stocks they already own, or considering a sell. Regardless of their motivation, we can better understand market sentiment by seeing who's watching what. With the Fool's free My Watchlist service, we have tens of thousands of people telling us the businesses that have, for whatever reason, piqued their interest.

The most watched metals and mining stock is ...
Looking at the aggregate data, we see that Nucor (NYSE: NUE) is above the rest in terms of watch interest, the percentage of people keeping an eye on Metals & Mining stocks in general who are specifically watching each company. And for good reason.

Fool analyst Jeremy Phillips named Nucor one of his three favorite American stocks and liked it enough to invest 20% of his Outstanding Dividend Portfolio in Nucor. Jeremy likes that Nucor is a disruptor in the steel industry. He writes:

  1. Their mini-mills break-even at lower capacities than their competitors, giving them a large advantage ... compared to companies like U.S. Steel, which has significantly higher fixed costs.
  2. Management's "pain sharing" philosophy is aligned with shareholders and employees. CEO pay was cut 43% in 2009 versus 2008 levels, and the company didn't make any layoffs.

Here are the rest of the top 15 most-watched companies in the industry with their watch interest along with the stocks' CAPS rating to show the sentiment of our investing community.

 

Company

Market Cap (millions)

CAPS Rating 
(out of 5)

Watch Interest

1

Nucor

$14,149

****

9.6%

2

Titanium Metals (NYSE: TIE)

$3,126

*****

5.0%

3

Alcoa (NYSE: AA)

$16,636

****

4.0%

4

Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW)

$13,449

***

3.2%

5

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold

$47,599

****

2.9%

6

Rubicon Minerals (NYSE: RBY)

$907

*****

2.3%

7

Compass Minerals International

$2,876

****

2.3%

8

Vale

$164,640

*****

2.1%

9

Molycorp (NYSE: MCP)

$3,573

*

1.7%

10

Taseko Mines (NYSE: TGB)

$1,090

*****

1.7%

11

Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY)

$8,900

****

1.7%

12

Terra Nova Royalty (NYSE: TTT)

$481

*****

1.5%

13

BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP)

$241,673

****

1.5%

14

Hecla Mining (NYSE: HL)

$2,275

***

1.5%

15

Goldcorp (NYSE: GG)

$36,596

***

1.3%

Sources: Motley Fool, Motley Fool CAPS.

Whether you're keeping an eye on the industry stalwarts like BHP Billiton or are watching an up-and-comer like Rubicon Minerals, it pays to watch. We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service. Click here to start now.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.