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Tickers in this Article: ASEI, DECK, ALLT, BSFT, FFIV, QCOR, AAWW
After this morning's trading, the Nasdaq has risen 0.1%, the S&P 500 has remained steady and the Dow has climbed 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite Index is a capitalization-weighted index, with each company weighted in proportion to its market value.

The biggest movers traded on the NASDAQ so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
American Science & Engineering (Nasdaq:ASEI)$522.1 million+8.3%
Deckers (Nasdaq:DECK)$1.78 billion-7.7%
Allot (Nasdaq:ALLT)$867.1 million-6.8%
BroadSoft (Nasdaq:BSFT)$1.18 billion-6.7%
F5 Networks (Nasdaq:FFIV)$8.26 billion+6.2%
Questcor Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:QCOR)$2.99 billion+4.1%
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (Nasdaq:AAWW)$1.48 billion-3%
Forex Broker Summary: UFXMarkets

American Science & Engineering (Nasdaq:ASEI) has increased to a share price of $67.07, a 8.3% rise. The company's volume is currently 224,947 shares for the day, 6.9 times its current daily average. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. Price/earnings ratios (P/E ratios) provide a measure of the relative value of a stock. ASEI's P/E ratio of 28.0 is above the industry average of 10.39. Generally speaking, the higher the P/E ratio, the higher the market expectations for a company's future performance. 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: Can Investors Trust the P/E Ratio?

Deckers (Nasdaq:DECK) has decreased to $44.27 per share, a 7.7% fall. The company's volume for the day so far is 1.5 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 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. 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 DECK is consistent with the industry average at 0.99. 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 $25.15 per share, Allot (Nasdaq:ALLT) has fallen 6.8%. At 547,332 shares, the company's volume so far today is 1.1 times the average volume over the last three months. 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. 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. The price/sales ratio measures a company's stock market price by its revenues. ALLT's P/S ratio of 9.29 is on the high side. In young companies, a high P/S ratio is a sign of sales growth that is expected to turn into earnings and cash flow. 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.

At $39.75, BroadSoft (Nasdaq:BSFT) has slipped 6.7%. So far today, the company's volume is 774,337 shares. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. The debt ratio shows the proportion of assets that a company is financing through debt. BSFT has a debt ratio of 51.3%. 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.

F5 Networks (Nasdaq:FFIV) is at $110.94 per share after an increase of 6.2%. The company's volume is currently two million shares for the day, one times the current daily average. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. The price/book value ratio is especially important for value investors as it can provide an indication of the true value of a company's assets at a time when its business model may be failing. FFIV's P/B ratio of 6.84 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: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

After rising 4.1%, Questcor Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:QCOR) is currently trading at a share price of $52.16. So far today, 908,784 shares have changed hands. 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. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. The price/earnings ratio is calculated by taking a stock price and dividing it by the earnings-per-share (EPS). P/E ratio for QCOR is 24.3. High P/E stocks could be "growth" stocks, while low PE stocks may be "value" stocks. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Earnings Ratio

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (Nasdaq:AAWW) has fallen 3% and is currently trading at $54.43 per share. The company's volume is currently 55,466 shares for the day, 0.2 times its current three-month average. 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 price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio divides a company's P/E ratio by its growth rate of earnings-per-share. AAWW has a PEG ratio of 0.89, which is consistent with the industry average. 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 No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. It is important to weigh current activity against historical performance when making any investment decisions. 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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