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Tickers in this Article: SPLS, CYOU, SWHC, STNR, HAIN, CERN, OSIS
This morning, the Nasdaq is up 0.2%, the S&P 500 has remained steady and the Dow remains relatively unchanged. Most stocks on the Nasdaq Composite Index are technology and Internet-related, but there are financial, consumer, bio-tech and industrial companies as well.

The biggest movers traded on the NASDAQ so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Staples (Nasdaq:SPLS)$9.27 billion-17.3%
Changyou.com Limited(ADR) (Nasdaq:CYOU)$1.27 billion-11.7%
Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (Nasdaq:SWHC)$637.6 million-8.1%
Steiner Leisure Limited (Nasdaq:STNR)$660.6 million+4.2%
The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:HAIN)$2.36 billion+3.7%
Cerner (Nasdaq:CERN)$12.24 billion+3.7%
OSI Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:OSIS)$1.43 billion+3.6%
Broker Summary: TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim

Staples (Nasdaq:SPLS) is currently trading at $11.12 per share, after a steep drop of 17.3%. This morning, 42.3 million shares have been traded, more than yesterday's 12.1 million shares. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. 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. SPLS' P/B ratio of 1.08 shows that its share price is higher than its book value. This high share price relative to asset value is likely to indicate that the company has been earning a very high return on its assets. A weakness of the P/B value ratio is that while the price component is easily determined by looking at the stock quote, the book value component is more difficult to estimate and more open to individual interpretation and analysis. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

After a precipitous drop of 11.7%, Changyou.com (Nasdaq:CYOU) is now trading at a share price of $21.33. This morning, the company's volume is 349,760 shares. This is 0.7 times the current daily average. 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. In making a decision about a potential or existing investment, valuation ratios are useful as a basis for seeing whether the stock price is too high, reasonable, or a bargain. Using price/earnings ratios (P/E ratios) does not give an indication of whether or not an individual company's ratio is reasonable, a shortcoming that can be corrected by using the price/earnings to growth ratio (PEG ratio). CYOU's PEG ratio of 0.54 is in line with the industry average. While P/E ratios are important indicators of market value, a high P/E in and of itself is not bad because it may indicate a company whose earnings are growing very rapidly, so many investors look at the PEG ratio in order to get an idea of whether or not a particular P/E ratio is justified by underlying earnings growth.

Currently trading at $8.97 per share, Smith (Nasdaq:SWHC) has fallen 8.1%. At two million shares, the company's volume so far today is 1.4 times its current three-month average. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. The price/sales ratio measures a company's stock market value by its total revenues or alternatively, a company's price per share by its revenue per share. The P/S ratio for SWHC is 1.31, which is relatively high. 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.

Increasing 4.2%, Steiner (Nasdaq:STNR) is trading at $45.04 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 20,102 shares. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. The debt ratio shows the proportion of assets that a company is financing through debt. The debt ratio for STNR is 52.8%. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Hain Celestial Group (Nasdaq:HAIN) has risen 3.7% and is currently trading at $54.66 per share. So far today, 184,627 shares have changed hands, which is likely to result in less activity than yesterday's volume of 663,332 shares. If a stock is trading on low volume, then there is not much interest in the stock. On the other hand, if a stock is trading on high volume, then there is a lot of interest in the stock. 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 capitalization ratio measures the debt component of the capital structure, or capitalization of a company (i.e., the sum of long-term debt liabilities and shareholder equity) to support operations and growth. The capitalization ratio for HAIN is 31.3%. The capitalization ratio is one of the more meaningful debt ratios because it focuses on the relationship of debt liabilities as a component of a company's total capital base, which is the capital raised by shareholders and lenders.

After an increase of 3.7%, Cerner (Nasdaq:CERN) has reached a current price of $74.11. So far today, the company's volume is 1.3 million shares. This is 1.2 times its average daily volume. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio is a measurement of how much suppliers, lenders, creditors and obligors have committed to the company versus what the shareholders have committed. CERN has a debt-equity ratio of 7%, which is on the low side. 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 rising 3.6%, OSI Systems (Nasdaq:OSIS) is currently trading at a share price of $74.63. The company's volume is currently 135,489 shares for the day, 0.9 times the current three-month average. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. A wide array of ratios can be used by investors to estimate the attractiveness of a potential or existing investment and get an idea of its valuation. 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. OSIS' P/E ratio of 31.0 is above the industry average of 5.16. Generally speaking, the higher the P/E ratio, the higher the market expectations for a company's future performance. A high or low P/E ratio is not good or bad in and of itself, but a company trading with a high P/E ratio must continue to post strong financial performance or its stock price is likely to fall. SEE: Understanding The P/E Ratio

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. Daily stock performance should be weighed against historical performance and put in context of the market overall. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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