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Tickers in this Article: AZZ, NKE, TMH, VMW, MJN, CEO, GWW
After this morning's trading, the market is looking good. The Nasdaq is up 2.4%; the S&P 500 has moved up 1.9%; and the Dow has climbed 1.7%. Also known as the "Big Board", the NYSE relied for many years on floor trading only, using the open outcry system.

The biggest movers traded on the NYSE so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
AZZ Incorporated (NYSE:AZZ)7.9 million+14.3%
NIKE (NYSE:NKE).41 billion-9.2%
Team Health Holdings LLC (NYSE:TMH).7 billion-7%
VMware (NYSE:VMW).91 billion+6.9%
Mead Johnson Nutrition (NYSE:MJN).46 billion-4%
CNOOC Limited (ADR) (NYSE:CEO).84 billion+3.8%
WW Grainger (NYSE:GWW).8 billion+3.3%
Software Summary: Stock Screener

AZZ (NYSE:AZZ) is currently at $58.65 per share after a dramatic increase of 14.3%. The company is currently trading a volume of 151,546 shares. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. Valuation ratios include 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 capitalization ratio measures the debt component of the capital structure, or capitalization of a company (i.e., the sum of long-term debt liabilities and shareholder equity) to support operations and growth. The capitalization ratio for AZZ is 42.3%. 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.

At $87.97, NIKE (NYSE:NKE) has slipped 9.2%. At 10.1 million shares, the company's volume so far today is 3.1 times the current daily average. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Margin ratios highlight companies that are worth further examination. NKE has a gross profit margin of 43.8%. Value investors, investors in distressed securities, and junk bond investors will probably pay more attention to the operating margin ratio. Operating profit margin for NKE is 13%. Net profit margin compares net income with sales. The company has a net profit margin of 9.7%.

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. 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). NKE's PEG ratio of 1.51 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.

Team Health (NYSE:TMH) has fallen 7% and is currently trading at $24.09 per share. So far today, three million shares of the company's stock have changed hands. Yesterday, volume was only 2.1 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. Profit-margin ratios can give investors deeper insight into management efficiency than earnings alone can provide. Gross profit margin, operating profit margin and net margin are commonly used margins. TMH has a low gross profit margin of 18.3%. This may mean that the company is struggling to control production costs, or that a low amount of earnings is being generated from revenues. Relative to its gross profit margin, TMH's operating profit margin of 5.7% and net profit margin of 3.4% are low.

Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. The price/book value ratio provides a way of evaluating whether a stock is relatively cheap or expensive. TMH's stock is trading for more than its book value with a P/B ratio of 44.6. 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. All else being equal, a stock with a low P/B value ratio is more attractive than a stock with a high ratio. SEE: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

VMware (NYSE:VMW) is currently trading at $89.84 per share, a 6.9% increase. At 1.6 million shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.8 times the average volume over the last three months. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. Calculating the profit margin is a great way to gain insight into aspects of how well a company generates and retains money. Instead of measuring how much managers earn from assets, equity or invested capital, profit-margin ratios measure how far a company stretches its total revenue or total sales. VMW has a high gross profit margin of 91.9%. A high gross profit margin generally means that the company can make a reasonable profit on sales, provided that overhead costs do not increase. Relative to its gross profit margin, VMW's operating profit margin of 20.6% and net profit margin of 19.8% are high.

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. In a nutshell, the price/sales ratio shows how much Wall Street values every dollar of the company's sales. VMW's P/S ratio of 12.01 is on the high side. In young companies, a high P/S ratio is a sign of sales growth that is expected to turn into earnings and cash flow. It is important to keep in mind when looking at the P/S ratio that just because a company is generating revenues, this does not mean that the company is profitable, and in the long run, profits drive stock prices.

Mead Johnson (NYSE:MJN) is trading at $82.19 per share, down 4%. So far today, the company's volume is 2.4 million shares. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. Profit-margin ratios measure how much money a company squeezes from its total revenue or total sales. Investors can look at a company's gross profit margin, operating profit margin and net margin to understand a company's profitability. The gross profit margin for MJN is 64.4%. A high net profit margin indicates a highly profitable company, and a low profit margin indicates the opposite. Net margin is 14%, which is high relative to its gross profit margin. A company with a high profit margin has a greater capability to maintain strong earnings during a recession than does a company with a low profit margin, providing investors with a greater margin of safety. The operating profit margin indicates how much EBIT is generated per dollar of sales. MJN has an operating profit margin of 25.2%.

Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. The easy-to-calculate debt ratio is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on the leverage for a company. MJN has a high debt ratio of 102.6%. As such, the company is highly leveraged and not highly liquid. 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.

CNOOC Limited (NYSE:CEO) is up 3.8% to reach a current price of $199.51 per share. The company's volume is currently 53,279 shares for the day, 0.3 times the average daily volume. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. 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. To a large degree, the debt-equity (D/E) ratio provides another vantage point on a company's leverage position, in this case, comparing total liabilities to shareholders' equity, as opposed to total assets in the debt ratio. CEO's debt-equity ratio of 14% is on the low end. This shows that the company's assets are financed primarily through equity. This easy-to-calculate ratio provides a general indication of a company's equity-liability relationship and is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on a company's leverage.

Grainger (NYSE:GWW) has risen 3.3% and is currently trading at $188.55 per share. The company's volume is currently 192,730 shares. Trading activity is down from yesterday when 769,219 shares changed hands. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. Margin analysis tells us how effectively management can wring profits from sales and how much room a company has to withstand a downturn, fend off competition and make mistakes. GWW has a gross profit margin of 45.4%. All else being equal, investors should feel more confident investing in a company with a high operating margin than one with a low operating margin. Operating profit margin for GWW is 13.9%. Net profit margin is a good tool for fundamental analysis and long-term investing but is less useful for technical analysts and short-term traders. The company's net profit margin is 8.2%.

Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. One of the most important estimates of stock market valuation is the price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio). GWW has a P/E ratio of 19.5, high compared to the industry average of 11.92. 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. From the investor's perspective, a stock with a lower ratio is relatively cheaper than a stock with a higher ratio. SEE: How To Find P/E And PEG Ratios

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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