Shares of large silver mining companies mostly rose Monday along with the broader stock markets as investors shrugged off the metal's falling price amid fresh optimism about the economy.

Fresh U.S. consumer spending data also helped to lessen fears of a double-dip recession.

About half of silver's total demand comes from industrial demand so an economic resurgence is generally seen as a boon to silver miners.

In late afternoon trading, Pan American Silver Corp., Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp., Silver Standard Resources Inc. and Hecla Mining Co. were all up, while Silver Wheaton Corp. and Silvercorp Metals Inc. were down modestly. September silver on the CME Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell to $40.65 from $40.95 per ounce. The Dow rose 248.50 points, to 11533.04.

The U.S. Commerce Department said consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the nation's GDP, jumped in July at its fastest pace in five months. It was up 0.8 percent on strong demand for vehicles.

It's a little far-fetched to truly believe that we are headed into another recession, Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pa., told Reuters. This data doesn't support that view at all.

 

In Europe, news that  Eurobank and Alpha Bank plan to merge in a bid to better ride out Greece's sovereign debt crisis heartened traders.

Consolidation in the domestic sector makes economic sense given the fragmentation of the market, Deutsche Bank AG told investors  in a note. We would expect the market to react with enthusiasm following the recent pressure on the sector but we maintain our cautious stance ahead of the necessary re-capitalization of the new group.

Last week's speech by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who used the closely-followed talk to express optimism about the U.S. economy also bolstered hope. Bernanke was seen as leaving the door open to further central bank intervention if the Fed deems that helpful.

 

Central bankers don't think there's any really immediate screaming problem to deal with and have taken that more positively, Madelynn Matlock, who helps oversee $14.8 billion at Huntington Asset Advisors in Cincinnati, told Bloomberg. Plus, there's the fact that valuation is a whole lot better than it was a couple of months ago. In addition, the absence of any bad news in Europe is good news.