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Tickers in this Article: EZCH, GPOR, TRNX, JIVE, PCLN, NXTM, BLKB
The market is on the rise this morning, with the Nasdaq increasing 0.1%, the S&P 500 moving up 0.2% and the Dow up 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite Index represents all the stocks that trade on the Nasdaq stock market.

The biggest movers traded on the NASDAQ so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. (Nasdaq:EZCH)$1.09 billion-25.5%
Gulfport Energy Corporation (Nasdaq:GPOR)$1.25 billion+18.2%
Tornier N.V. (Nasdaq:TRNX)$864.9 million-18%
Jive Software Inc (Nasdaq:JIVE)$1.2 billion-17.2% (Nasdaq:PCLN)$33.85 billion-16%
NxStage Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq:NXTM)$890.6 million-12.6%
Blackbaud, Inc. (Nasdaq:BLKB)$1.25 billion-11.5%
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Shares of EZchip (Nasdaq:EZCH) are currently trading at $29.12, a steep decline of 25.5%. So far today, 2.4 million shares have changed hands. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. There are generally two price/earnings ratios calculated: the first, called the trailing Price/Earnings ratio, is calculated using the previous years actual earnings; the second, called forward Price/Earnings ratio, is calculated using the next year's estimated earnings. Compared to the industry average of 27.82, EZCH's P/E ratio of 97.7 is quite high. This could mean that the market is expecting big things over the next few months or years. From the investor's perspective, a stock with a lower ratio is relatively cheaper than a stock with a higher ratio. SEE: How To Use The P/E Ratio And PEG To Tell The Future Of A Stock

Gulfport (Nasdaq:GPOR) is currently at $26.55 per share after a dramatic increase of 18.2%. The company's volume is currently 1.8 million shares for the day, above yesterday's volume of 1.4 million shares. As a stock moves up or down, it is important to pay attention to the trading volume. This indicates the level of interest: the higher the volume, the more the interest. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. The price/book value ratio is one of the more common methods of determining whether a stock is fairly valued. GPOR has a P/B ratio of 2.27 which shows that its share price is higher than its book value. It is important to take the company's debt into account when using the P/B ratio as debt can boost a company's liabilities to the point where they wipe out much of the book value of its hard assets, creating artificially high P/B values. To put things in perspective, should be made among companies in the same industry rather than across industries. SEE: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

Tornier (Nasdaq:TRNX) is currently trading at $17.92 per share, after a steep drop of 18%. This morning, the company's volume is 665,810 shares. This is 10.2 times its current daily average. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. Valuation ratios include the price to earnings (P/E) ratio, the price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio, the price to sales (P/S) ratio, the price to book (P/B) ratio, and the dividend yield. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio is a leverage ratio. TRNX's debt-equity ratio of 11% is on the low end. A low D/E ratio may be a sign that the company is not taking advantage of leverage to increase its profits. This easy-to-calculate ratio provides a general indication of a company's equity-liability relationship and is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on a company's leverage.

After a precipitous drop of 17.2%, Jive Software (Nasdaq:JIVE) is now trading at a share price of $16.09. At 1.6 million shares, the company's volume so far today is 4.3 times its current three-month average. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. The debt ratio gives users a quick measure of the amount of debt that the company has on its balance sheets compared to its assets. JIVE has a debt ratio of 42.4%, which is fairly low. A low debt ratio means the company has more available cash flow. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies. (Nasdaq:PCLN) is at a share price of $571 after a sharp decline of 16%. The company's volume for the day so far is 3.7 million shares. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. A company's investment value can be estimated using valuation ratios such as the price to earnings (P/E) ratio, the price to earnings growth (PEG) ratio, the price to sales (P/S) ratio, the price to book (P/B) ratio, and the dividend yield. A company's capitalization (not to be confused with its market capitalization) is the term used to describe the makeup of a company's permanent or long-term capital, which consists of both long-term debt and shareholders' equity. The capitalizion ratio of 26.6% is on the low end. Investors generally consider a company with low debt and high equity levels is a good quality investment. A low level of debt and a healthy proportion of equity in a company's capital structure is an indication of financial fitness.

Taking a 12.6% hit, NxStage Medical (Nasdaq:NXTM) is currently trading at $13.86 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 1.3 million shares, which is more trading activity than there was yesterday. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in determining the value of a stock, but it is very important to keep in mind that while some financial ratios have general rules (or a broad application), in most instances it is a prudent practice to look at a company's historical performance and use peer company/industry comparisons to put any given company's ratio in perspective. If the price/book value ratio of a stock is high, it may indicate that the stock is expensive, while a lower ratio may indicate that the stock is a bargain. The P/B ratio for NXTM is 5.13, indicating that the stock is trading for more than its book value. This may be a sign that the company is overvalued. P/B value ratios are particularly useful to value investors, distressed or "vulture" investors, or any other investors purchasing beaten-down securities but are less useful to investors focused on growth stocks, purchasing IPOs, or investing in technology or other "asset-lite" companies. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

Blackbaud (Nasdaq:BLKB) is currently trading at $24.58 per share, after a steep drop of 11.5%. So far this morning, 545,563 shares have changed hands. This is 2.4 times its average daily volume. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. A price/sales ratio is derived by dividing stock market price by company sales. BLKB has a high P/S ratio of 3.97. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. It is important to compare P/S ratios for companies in the same industry, as ratios can vary quite widely for companies in different industries.

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. Keep in mind that all these ratios should be compared against historical numbers and industry information in order to get a more complete picture.

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