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Tickers in this Article: ASPS, SSYS, NFLX, ITRI, EXXI, KYAK, BJRI
The market is on the rise so far this morning. The Nasdaq has risen 0.6%; the S&P 500 has moved up 0.4%; and the Dow is trading up 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite Index represents all the stocks that trade on the Nasdaq stock market.

The biggest movers traded on the NASDAQ so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Altisource Portfolio Solutions (Nasdaq:ASPS)$2.06 billion+13.6%
Stratasys (Nasdaq:SSYS)$1.21 billion+7.8%
Netflix (Nasdaq:NFLX)$3.14 billion+7.5%
Itron (Nasdaq:ITRI)$1.65 billion+5.5%
Energy (Nasdaq:EXXI)$2.79 billion-4.2%
Kayak (Nasdaq:KYAK)$1.38 billion-3.9%
BJ\'s Restaurants (Nasdaq:BJRI)$1.26 billion-3.9%
Broker Summary: E-Trade Financial

Altisource Portfolio Solutions (Nasdaq:ASPS) has soared 13.6% to reach a current price of $99.99 per share. The company's volume is currently 436,473 shares for the day, 3.7 times the current three-month average. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. 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. ASPS' P/B ratio of 11.55 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. All else being equal, a stock with a low P/B value ratio is more attractive than a stock with a high ratio. SEE: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

Stratasys (Nasdaq:SSYS) is at $60.96 per share after an increase of 7.8%. So far today, the company's volume is 430,122 shares. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock 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. The price/earnings ratio is calculated by taking a stock price and dividing it by the earnings-per-share (EPS). SSYS has a P/E ratio of 63.5, high compared to the industry average of 13.66. 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: Understanding The P/E Ratio

Netflix (Nasdaq:NFLX) has risen 7.5% and is currently trading at $60.70 per share. At 4.6 million shares, the company's volume so far today is which is more trading activity than there was yesterday. 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. 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. Using price/earnings ratios (P/E ratios) does not give an indication of whether or not an individual company's ratio is reasonable, a shortcoming that can be corrected by using the price/earnings to growth ratio (PEG ratio). NFLX has a PEG ratio of 1.16. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

Rising 5.5%, Itron (Nasdaq:ITRI) is currently trading at $44.12 per share. So far this morning, 185,849 shares have changed hands. This is 0.7 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. A wide array of ratios can be used by investors to estimate the attractiveness of a potential or existing investment and get an idea of its valuation. The price/sales ratio is used for spotting recovery situations or for double-checking that a company's growth has not become overvalued. ITRI has a low P/S ratio of 0.68. Low P/S ratios are more attractive than high ratios because this indicates that an investor is paying less for each dollar of sales. 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.

Energy (Nasdaq:EXXI) is trading at $33.68 per share, down 4.2%. At 947,824 shares, the company's volume so far today is one times its current three-month average. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. 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 debt ratio measures the leverage of a company, and a company's leverage is a good way to assess risk. EXXI has a debt ratio of 55.1%. 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.

Kayak (Nasdaq:KYAK) has fallen 3.9% and is currently trading at $34.42 per share. So far today, 61,641 shares have changed hands. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. The price/book value ratio provides a way of evaluating whether a stock is relatively cheap or expensive. KYAK has a P/B ratio of 229.47 which shows that its share price is higher than its book value. This may be a sign that the company is overvalued. 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

At $43.39, BJ's Restaurants (Nasdaq:BJRI) has slipped 3.9%. So far today, 186,149 shares have changed hands,. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. 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. Price/earnings ratios (P/E ratios) provide a measure of the relative value of a stock. BJRI's P/E ratio of 38.9 is above the industry average of 20.61. 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. 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

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. 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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