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Tickers in this Article: GRFS, PEET, SSH, ARNA, CTXS, ISRG, CTRX
After a bad morning, the Nasdaq has decreased 1.9%, the S&P 500 has slipped 1.3% and the Dow is down 1.1%. 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:
Company Market Cap Percentage Change
Peet\'s Coffee & Tea, Inc. (Nasdaq:PEET) $757.4 million +28.9%
Sunshine Heart Inc (Nasdaq:SSH) $10.47 billion +14.5%
Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ARNA) $1.88 billion +8.1%
Citrix Systems (Nasdaq:CTXS) $15.03 billion -5.1%
Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq:ISRG) $19.79 billion -4.7%
SXC Health Solutions Corp. (USA) (Nasdaq:CTRX) $9.2 billion -4.7%
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Peet's Coffee & Tea (Nasdaq:PEET) rose a significant 28.9% to reach $73.68 per share. So far today, two million shares of the company's stock have changed hands. Yesterday's volume was only 245,492 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.

When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. The debt ratio is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. PEET's debt ratio of 16.3% is on the low side. 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.

Sunshine Heart (Nasdaq:SSH) is trading at $11.67 per share, a significant rise of 14.5%. The company's volume for the day so far is 287,469 shares, 0.3 times the average volume over the last three months. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite.

Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. One of the favorite tools of many value investors is analyzing price/book value ratios, as it provides a measure of the underlying value of a company's assets as compared to the valuation of its equity. SSH's P/B ratio of 0.0 indicates that its share price is lower than its book value. 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. 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

Rising 8.1%, Arena Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ARNA) is currently trading at $10.29 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 10.8 million shares. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price.

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. ARNA's P/S ratio of 51.25 is on the high side. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. 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 $76.64 per share, Citrix (Nasdaq:CTXS) has fallen 5.1%. So far today, the company's volume is 1.7 million shares, 0.9 times the average daily volume. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one.

Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. 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. CTXS has a low debt ratio of 33.1%. 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.

Falling 4.7%, Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq:ISRG) is currently at a share price of $475.18. So far today, the company's volume is 377,560 shares. This is on pace to fall short of yesterday's volume of 1.5 million shares. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move.

Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. A company's price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio) provides a measure of how expensive or cheap a stock is. Compared to the industry average of 11.09, ISRG's P/E ratio of 35.4 is quite high. This could mean that the market is expecting big things over the next few months or years. High P/E stocks could be "growth" stocks, while low PE stocks may be "value" stocks.

SEE: How To Use The P/E Ratio And PEG To Tell The Future Of A Stock

At $85.68, SXC Health Solutions Corp (Nasdaq:CTRX) has slipped 4.7%. At 669,476 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.7 times the current three-month 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 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. As with most ratios, comparisons of company price/earnings to growth ratios (PEG ratios) are most appropriate for similar companies. CTRX's PEG ratio of 2.13 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.

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. 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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