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Rachel Maddow applauds Denver's Newmont Mining, Monday's stock market champ (VIDEO)

Why did proud progressive Rachel Maddow pay a slow-clap tribute to, of all companies, Denver-based Newmont Mining on her MSNBC show last night?

Because, in a day of epic losses on Wall Street following Standard & Poor's U.S. credit downgrade, Newmont stood out as the rare non-loser. For a while.

Maddow framed her discussion of the post-debt-ceiling-debate fallout by featuring a CNBC board illustrating the S&P 500, with companies whose value is up symbolized by a green light, and those that are down represented by red. And during part of yesterday, the only green light belonged to Newmont.

Why? In a time of economic uncertainty, investors tend to turn to gold as a safe haven. And guess what Newmont specializes in mining...

The kicker to Maddow's salute: In the end, Newmont's stock eventually closed down, too, albeit barely. But company execs can't complain. The firm may never again receive the equivalent of an extended commercial on a major cable-news network as personally delivered by one of America's most respected lefties.

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