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Tickers in this Article: TRW, GS, TAP, SAM, RTN, GWW, CF
So far today, the market has been on the rise. The Nasdaq has risen 0.7%; the S&P 500 is trading up 1%; and the Dow has moved up 1.1%. The NYSE is a stock exchange based in New York City, considered the largest equities-based exchange in the world based on total market capitalization of its listed securities.

The biggest movers traded on the NYSE so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
TRW Automotive (NYSE:TRW)$5.33 billion+7.8%
Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS)$54.5 billion+4.2%
Molson Coors (NYSE:TAP)$7.04 billion-3.3%
Boston Beer Co (NYSE:SAM)$1.45 billion-3.2%
Raytheon (NYSE:RTN)$18.98 billion-2.7%
Grainger (NYSE:GWW)$14.52 billion+1.9%
CF Industries (NYSE:CF)$13.93 billion+1.8%
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Increasing 7.8%, TRW Automotive (NYSE:TRW) is trading at $47.10 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 1.6 million shares. This is 1.9 times its average volume over the past three months. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift 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. One of the most important estimates of stock market valuation is the price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio). TRW's P/E ratio of 5.6 is above the industry average of 3.36. 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. 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: The P/E Ratio: A Good Market-Timing Indicator

After an increase of 4.2%, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) has reached a current price of $118.51. So far today, 2.1 million shares have changed hands. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. The price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio divides a company's P/E ratio by its growth rate of earnings-per-share. PEG ratio for GS is 1.38. 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.

Molson Coors (NYSE:TAP) is currently trading at a share price of $43.56, a 3.3% decline. So far today, 1.4 million shares have changed hands, whereas yesterday, volume was only 1.1 million shares. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. 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. TAP has a P/B ratio of 0.95, which shows that its book value is higher than its share price. Industries that require more infrastructure capital (for each dollar of profit) will usually trade at P/B ratios much lower than those that don't. P/B has its shortcomings but is still widely used as a valuation metric, more relevant for use by investors looking at capital-intensive or finance-related businesses, such as banks; book value does not carry much meaning for service-based firms with few tangible assets. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

Boston Beer Co (NYSE:SAM) has decreased to $108.38 per share, a 3.2% fall. This morning, the company's volume is 108,134 shares. This is 1.3 times its average daily volume. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. In a nutshell, the price/sales ratio shows how much Wall Street values every dollar of the company's sales. The P/S ratio for SAM is 2.88, which is relatively high. In young companies, a high P/S ratio is a sign of sales growth that is expected to turn into earnings and cash flow. A limitation of the P/S ratio is that the price component measures only stock market captialization, while sales are a function of the entire capital structure, potentially leading to wide differences between levered and unlevered companies.

Currently trading at $55.63 per share, Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) has fallen 2.7%. So far today, the company's volume is 2.3 million shares, 1.4 times its average over the past 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. 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 debt ratio shows the proportion of assets that a company is financing through debt. RTN has a debt ratio of 65.5%, which is on the high side. This means that most of the company's assets are financed through debt. 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.

Grainger (NYSE:GWW) is at $212.37 per share after an increase of 1.9%. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 325,475 shares. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. 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. For investors primarily interested in the income a stock can generate, the dividend yield is an important determinant of how attractive a stock is. GWW's dividend yield of 1.5% is fairly low. This may indicate that the company's stock is overpriced. High dividend yields are generally more important to value investors, investors in larger companies, and income oriented investors than they are to growth investors, investors in small cap stocks, and investors in new or emerging companies. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Dividend Yield

Rising 1.8%, CF Industries (NYSE:CF) is currently trading at $226.18 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 403,855 shares, while it was 1.3 million shares yesterday. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. 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. CF's capitalization ratio is 24.2%, which is relatively low. Low leverage is a significant balance sheet strength, a sign of a less risky investment. This ratio is considered to be one of the more meaningful of the "debt" ratios - it delivers the key insight into the use of leverage by a company.

The Bottom Line On any given day, a particular stock may see positive or negative change in its share price. 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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