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Tickers in this Article: LRN, PLL, GWR, LTM, DST, WLL, IOC
The market is on the rise so far this morning. The Nasdaq is trading up 0.3%; the S&P 500 has moved up 0.1%; and the Dow has increased 0.2%. The NYSE is a stock exchange based in New York City, considered the largest equities-based exchange in the world based on total market capitalization of its listed securities.

The biggest movers traded on the NYSE so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
K12 (NYSE:LRN)8 million+8.1%
Pall (NYSE:PLL).76 billion+7.4%
Genesee & Wyoming (NYSE:GWR).91 billion-5.5%
Life Time Fitness (NYSE:LTM).14 billion-5.2%
DST Systems (NYSE:DST).36 billion+4.4%
Whiting (NYSE:WLL).81 billion+3.5%
InterOil Corporation (NYSE:IOC).15 billion-3.3%
Software Summary: Finviz.com Stock Screener

K12 (NYSE:LRN) is up 8.1% to reach a current price of $23.12 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 938,282 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. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. 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. LRN's capitalization ratio is 0.2%, which is relatively low. Investors generally consider a company with low debt and high equity levels is a good quality investment. 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.

Rising 7.4%, Pall (NYSE:PLL) is currently trading at $62.47 per share. The company's volume is currently 2.5 million shares for the day, 4.3 times the average volume over the last three months. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. The price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio compares a company's P/E ratio to its earnings-per-share growth rate, which tells you whether or not you are getting a good value when purchasing a stock with a high price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio). PLL has a PEG ratio of 1.61, which is consistent with the industry average. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

Genesee & Wyoming (NYSE:GWR) is currently trading at a share price of $64.19, a 5.5% decline. The company is trading at a volume of 464,098 shares. This is greater than yesterday's volume of 358,079 shares. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. 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/book value ratio is calculated by dividing the current stock price by the company's book value per share. GWR's P/B ratio of 2.65 shows that its share price is higher 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: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

At $46.68, Life Time Fitness (NYSE:LTM) has slipped 5.2%. At 412,728 shares, the company's volume so far today is 1.5 times the average daily volume. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. 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 price/sales ratio measures a company's stock market value by its total revenues or alternatively, a company's price per share by its revenue per share. The P/S ratio for LTM is a high 1.88. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. 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.

DST Systems (NYSE:DST) is at $54.71 per share after an increase of 4.4%. So far today, the company's volume is 330,733 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. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. The debt ratio shows the proportion of assets that a company is financing through debt. DST's debt ratio of 69.9% is fairly high. As such, the company is highly leveraged and not highly liquid. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Whiting (NYSE:WLL) has risen 3.5% and is currently trading at $51.09 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 2.3 million shares, 1.3 times the current three-month average. 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. 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. One of the most important estimates of stock market valuation is the price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio). Relative to the industry P/E ratio of 20.88, WLL's 11.4 is low. A low P/E might arise due to substantial inherent risk of the firm and its operations, poor return on equity, or improper valuation of the market. High P/E stocks could be "growth" stocks, while low PE stocks may be "value" stocks. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Earnings Ratio

InterOil Corporation (NYSE:IOC) has decreased to $83.01 per share, a 3.3% fall. So far today, 396,213 shares of the company's stock have changed hands. This is on pace to fall short of yesterday's volume of one million 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. IOC has a debt-equity ratio of 15%, which is on the low side. Companies with low D/E ratios are more attractive to investors because they are better able to protect their business interests in times of decline. The D/E ratio is not a pure measurement of a company's debt because it includes operational liabilities in total liabilities.

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. 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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