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Tickers in this Article: ARUN, ADSK, MCRS, CPSI, SSYS, RUE, ZUMZ
This morning has been good for the market. The Nasdaq is trading up 0.6%; the S&P 500 has risen 0.5%; and the Dow has moved up 0.6%. 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
Aruba Networks (Nasdaq:ARUN).9 billion+17.5%
Autodesk (Nasdaq:ADSK).21 billion-15.8%
MICROS Systems (Nasdaq:MCRS).87 billion+8.8%
Computer Programs & Systems (Nasdaq:CPSI)7.7 million+5.5%
Stratasys (Nasdaq:SSYS).44 billion-5%
rue21 (Nasdaq:RUE)8 million-4.4%
Zumiez (Nasdaq:ZUMZ).05 billion-4.4%
Forex Broker Summary: Forex Capital Markets (FXCM)

Aruba Networks (Nasdaq:ARUN) is trading at $19.88 per share, a significant rise of 17.5%. So far this morning, 7.3 million shares have changed hands. This is 2.7 times the current daily 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/book value ratio is one of the more common methods of determining whether a stock is fairly valued. ARUN has a P/B ratio of 4.86 which shows that its share price is higher than its book value. This implies that investors expect management to create more value from a given set of assets and/or that the market value of the firm's assets is significantly higher than their accounting value. P/B value ratios are particularly useful to value investors, distressed or "vulture" investors, or any other investors purchasing beaten-down securities but are less useful to investors focused on growth stocks, purchasing IPOs, or investing in technology or other "asset-lite" companies. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

Taking a 15.8% hit, Autodesk (Nasdaq:ADSK) is currently trading at $30.06 per share. At 21 million shares, the company's volume so far today is 7.8 times its average over the past three months. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. The price/sales ratio is used for spotting recovery situations or for double-checking that a company's growth has not become overvalued. The P/S ratio for ADSK is a high 3.98. In young companies, a high P/S ratio is a sign of sales growth that is expected to turn into earnings and cash flow. All things being equal, a low P/S ratio is good news for investors, while a very high one can be a warning sign.

MICROS Systems (Nasdaq:MCRS) has moved up 8.8% and is currently trading at $52.46 per share. So far today, 920,918 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. 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 easy-to-calculate debt ratio is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on the leverage for a company. MCRS' debt ratio of 29% is on the low side. 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.

Increasing 5.5%, Computer Programs & Systems (Nasdaq:CPSI) is trading at $49.37 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 119,624 shares,. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. 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. The assumption with high price/earnings stocks (generally of the growth variety) is that investors are willing to buy at a high price because they believe that the stock has significant growth potential, and the price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio helps investors determine the degree of reliability of that growth assumption. CPSI's PEG ratio is 1.18. 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.

Slipping 5%, Stratasys (Nasdaq:SSYS) is currently trading at $64.14 per share. The company's volume for the morning is 413,088 shares. This is 0.9 times its current daily average. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. A company's value as an investment is more easily 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 P/E ratio has been used for ages by analysts and still remains one of the most relevant pieces of stock valuation. Compared to the industry average of 13.68, SSYS' P/E ratio of 75.0 is quite high. 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. 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: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Earnings Ratio

Currently trading at $27.60 per share, rue21 (Nasdaq:RUE) has fallen 4.4%. The company's volume is currently 361,924 shares for the day, 1.7 times the current three-month average. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. The price/book value ratio is calculated by dividing the current stock price by the company's book value per share. The P/B ratio for RUE is 4.21, indicating that the stock is trading for more 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. 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: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

At $31.97, Zumiez (Nasdaq:ZUMZ) has slipped 4.4%. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 362,403 shares. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. A price/sales ratio is derived by dividing stock market price by company sales. ZUMZ's P/S ratio of 1.98 is on the high side. 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.

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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