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Tickers in this Article: CLF, RRC, PANW, KWR, CEO, FDS, RL
The market is having a good day so far. The Nasdaq has climbed 0.3%; the S&P 500 is trading up 0.6%; and the Dow is up 0.7%. Today, more than half of all NYSE trades are conducted electronically, although floor traders are still used to set pricing and deal in high volume institutional trading.

The biggest movers traded on the NYSE so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF)$5.58 billion+8.2%
Range (NYSE:RRC)$11.01 billion+5.4%
Quaker (NYSE:KWR)$652.9 million-4.3%
CNOOC Limited (NYSE:CEO)$81.88 billion+4.1%
FactSet Research Systems (NYSE:FDS)$4.24 billion+3.5%
Polo Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL)$14.61 billion-3.2%
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Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) has risen 8.2% and is currently trading at $42.40 per share. So far today, 6.7 million shares have changed hands. Price change alone is not enough to know how a stock is doing. Volume is an important secondary indicator used to confirm trends suggested by price movement. While investment valuation ratios are useful tools in estimating the attractiveness of an investment, remember that it is important to look at a company's historical performance and compare the company ratios with its competitors and industry overall. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio compares the total liabilities for a company to its total shareholder equity. CLF has a D/E ratio of 67%. 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.

Range (NYSE:RRC) has risen 5.4% to hit a current price of $71.39 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 1.4 million shares, 1.1 times the current three-month average. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. The P/E ratio has been used for ages by analysts and still remains one of the most relevant pieces of stock valuation. The P/E ratio for RRC is 250.9, above the industry average of 20.88. Usually, if a stock has a high P/E ratio, it indicates that the market expects the company to grow earnings quickly in the future. A high P/E ratio indicates a stock that is expensive, while a low P/E ratio indicates a stock that is cheap. SEE: How To Use The P/E Ratio And PEG To Tell The Future Of A Stock

The company's volume is currently 2.2 million shares. Yesterday, volume was only 1.4 million 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. 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. The price/book value ratio, often expressed simply as "price-to-book", provides investors a way to compare the market value, or what they are paying for each share, to a conservative measure of the value of the firm. The P/B ratio for PANW is 424.85, indicating that the stock is trading for more 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

Quaker (NYSE:KWR) is down 4.3% to reach $48 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 39,004 shares, 0.7 times its current daily average. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. The dividend yield is calculated by dividing a company's dividends per share by its stock price. KWR's dividend yield of 2% is fairly low. A company with a low dividend yield may be a safer investment in the long run. To calculate the dividend yield, divide the level of dividends by the stock price; the higher the yield, the more attractive the security. SEE: Dividend Yield For The Downturn

CNOOC Limited (NYSE:CEO) has moved up 4.1% and is currently trading at $191 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 84,953 shares. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual 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. The debt ratio for CEO is a low 31.4%. This indicates that the company engages in conservative financing with opportunities to borrow in the future at no significant risk. However, one thing to note with this ratio: it isn't a pure measure of a company's debt (or indebtedness), as it also includes operational liabilities, such as accounts payable and taxes payable.

Rising 3.5%, FactSet Research Systems (NYSE:FDS) is currently trading at $98.72 per share. With 395,758 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume 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. Valuation ratios like 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 are useful in determining how attractive a potential or existing investment is. A company's price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio) provides a measure of how expensive or cheap a stock is. FDS has a P/E ratio of 24.3, high compared to the industry average of 14.78. A company with a high P/E ratio will eventually have to live up to the high rating by substantially increasing its earnings, or the price will need to drop. To determine the P/E ratio, an investor divides the market price of the stock by the earnings-per-share (EPS) of the stock. SEE: How To Find P/E And PEG Ratios

Polo Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) has fallen 3.2% and is currently trading at $155.10 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 1.5 million shares. This is greater than yesterday's volume of 960,434 shares. Volume is an important indicator in technical analysis as it is used to measure the worth of a market move. If the markets have made a strong price move either up or down the perceived strength of that move depends on the volume for that period. The higher the volume during that price move the more significant the move. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. When used consistently and uniformly, the price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio is an essential tool that adds dimension to the price/earnings ratio, allows comparisons across diverse industries and is always on the lookout for value. PEG ratio for RL is consistent with the industry average at 2.01. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. Daily stock performance should be weighed against historical performance and put in context of the market overall. Tools like valuation ratios and profit margins, however, are only as useful as the context you put them in; remember to take historical data and competitor performance into account.

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