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Tickers in this Article: N, SSD, MOH, GDI, NEM, CRM, SPH
So far today, the market has been on the rise. The Nasdaq has increased 1.4%; the S&P 500 is trading up 1.1%; and the Dow has climbed 0.8%. Today, more than half of all NYSE trades are conducted electronically, although floor traders are still used to set pricing and deal in high volume institutional trading.

The biggest movers traded on the NYSE so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
NetSuite Inc. (NYSE:N).47 billion+15.4%
Simpson Manufacturing Co, Inc. (NYSE:SSD).29 billion-9.1%
Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:MOH).17 billion-9%
Gardner Denver, Inc. (NYSE:GDI).61 billion+7.5%
Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM).61 billion-5.8%
Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM).2 billion+5%
Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. (NYSE:SPH).55 billion-3.7%
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NetSuite (NYSE:N) is trading at $57.01 per share, a significant rise of 15.4%. The company is currently trading a volume of 1.2 million shares. 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. 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. The capitalizion ratio of 1.2% is on the low end. A very low capitalization ratio might be a sign that the company is stagnating and reducing the potential earnings for shareholders. The capitalization ratio is one of the more meaningful debt ratios because it focuses on the relationship of debt liabilities as a component of a company's total capital base, which is the capital raised by shareholders and lenders.

After a decline of 9.1%, Simpson Manufacturing Co (NYSE:SSD) has hit a share price of $24.25. With 149,258 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is one times the average volume over the last three months. 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. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. 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. SSD's PEG ratio of 1.62 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.

Molina Healthcare (NYSE:MOH) has fallen 9% and is currently trading at $23.02 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 1.4 million shares. Yesterday's volume was only 552,724 shares. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. 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. MOH has a P/B ratio of 1.38 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 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

After an increase of 7.5%, Gardner Denver (NYSE:GDI) has reached a current price of $56.06. At 669,906 shares, the company's volume so far today is in line with the current daily average. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. 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. For investors primarily interested in the income a stock can generate, the dividend yield is an important determinant of how attractive a stock is. GDI's dividend yield of 0.4% is fairly low. This could indicate that that the stock is overpriced or that future dividends might be higher. Just as with the yield on a bond or certificate of deposit, the higher the dividend yield, the higher the return to the investor. SEE: Dividend Yield For The Downturn

Slipping 5.8%, Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) is currently trading at $43.41 per share. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 5.4 million 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. The price/sales ratio is used for spotting recovery situations or for double-checking that a company's growth has not become overvalued. NEM has a high P/S ratio of 2.38. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. All things being equal, a low P/S ratio is good news for investors, while a very high one can be a warning sign.

Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) has moved up 5% and is currently trading at $130.88 per share. At 1.3 million shares, the company's volume so far today is consistent with its average over the last three months. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. The debt ratio is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. The debt ratio for CRM is 56.5%. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Currently trading at $42.00 per share, Suburban Propane Partners (NYSE:SPH) has fallen 3.7%. So far today, the company's volume is 88,843 shares. 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 provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio is a measurement of how much suppliers, lenders, creditors and obligors have committed to the company versus what the shareholders have committed. The D/E ratio for SPH is 93%. The D/E ratio percentage provides a much more dramatic perspective on a company's leverage position than the debt ratio percentage.

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. 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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