Silver mining company shares rocketed higher Monday as the price of the gray metal surged and the broader stock market indexes rose more than three percent.

In midday trading, the Nasdaq Composite climbed 3.6 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 2.8 percent and the S&P 500 was up 3.1 percent.

European bourses closed sharply higher: Germany's DAX settled up 4.6 percent and France's CAC 40 ended the day 5.5 percent higher.

The gains in the broad stock markets reflected investor optimism that Eurozone leaders were finally pursuing the king of radical steps needed to halt the spreading contagion of the continent's sovereign debt crisis.

Prospects that Europe might avoid recession raised hopes that the industrial demand for silver, which accounts for about half its demand, might not suffer.

Silver on the Comex rose 3.7 percent, more than twice the percentage gain of gold.

But the big gainers on the day were neither silver nor the broader stock market; they were silver mining company shares.

Endeavour Silver Corp. soared 9.5 percent, Hecla Mining Co. shot up 6.8 percent, Alexco Resource Corp. jumped 6.7 percent, Great Panther Silver Ltd. added 6 percent, Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. was up 5.5 percent and Mag Silver Corp. rocketed up 11.2 percent.

Silver exchange-traded products also posted big gains. Global X Silver Miners gained 5.8 percent iShares Silver Trust rose 3.7 percent and Sprott Physical Silver Trust soared 8 percent.