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Tickers in this Article: IDIX, SINA, NTES, CSTR, SOHU, PLCE, PRGO
So far today, the market has been on the rise. The Nasdaq has risen 0.8%; the S&P 500 has moved up 0.3%; and the Dow has increased 0.3%. The recent surge in popularity of technological stocks has launched the Nasdaq Composite Index into the spotlight, making it one of the premier indexes in the world.

The biggest movers traded on the NASDAQ so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:IDIX)$1.09 billion-27.9%
SINA Corporation (USA) (Nasdaq:SINA)$3.38 billion+12.9% Inc (ADR) (Nasdaq:NTES)$7.62 billion-12%
Coinstar, Inc. (Nasdaq:CSTR)$1.51 billion+9.4% Inc. (Nasdaq:SOHU)$1.5 billion+8%
Children\'s Place Retail Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq:PLCE)$1.25 billion+7.6%
Perrigo Company (Nasdaq:PRGO)$10.89 billion-7.4%
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Shares of Idenix Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:IDIX) are currently trading at $5.99, a steep decline of 27.9%. The company's volume for the morning is 14.4 million shares. This is 4.4 times the average daily volume. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. If the price/book value ratio of a stock is high, it may indicate that the stock is expensive, while a lower ratio may indicate that the stock is a bargain. IDIX has a P/B ratio of 16.64 which shows that its share price is higher than its book value. This may be a sign that the company is overvalued. 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

SINA Corporation (Nasdaq:SINA) is trading at $57.47 per share, a significant rise of 12.9%. So far today, the company's volume is 8.7 million shares, above yesterday's volume of 3.4 million shares. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. 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 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. SINA's P/S ratio of 8.81 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. All things being equal, a low P/S ratio is good news for investors, while a very high one can be a warning sign. Inc (Nasdaq:NTES) is at a share price of $51.22 after a sharp decline of 12%. So far today, three million 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. 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. The debt ratio shows the proportion of assets that a company is financing through debt. NTES has a debt ratio of 14.9%, which is fairly low. A low debt ratio means the company has more available cash flow. 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.

Coinstar (Nasdaq:CSTR) has risen 9.4% to hit a current price of $52.73 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 3.4 million shares, 2.7 times the average volume over the last three months. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock 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 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). PEG ratio for CSTR is consistent with the industry average at 0.53. 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. (Nasdaq:SOHU) is currently trading at $42.48 per share, a 8% increase. So far today, the company's volume is 867,883 shares. This is one times the current daily average. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. Perhaps one of the most widely-used stock analysis tools is the price-to-earnings ratio, or P/E. SOHU's P/E ratio of 11.5 is under the industry average of 58.5. A low P/E ratio may indicate that the market expects relatively slower earnings growth. From the investor's perspective, a stock with a lower ratio is relatively cheaper than a stock with a higher ratio. SEE: The P/E Ratio: A Good Market-Timing Indicator

After rising 7.6%, Children's Place Retail Stores (Nasdaq:PLCE) is currently trading at a share price of $55.51. At 994,569 shares, the company's volume so far today is which is more trading activity than there was yesterday. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. The price/book value ratio provides a way of evaluating whether a stock is relatively cheap or expensive. The P/B ratio for PLCE is 2.18, indicating that the stock is trading for more 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. 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

Perrigo (Nasdaq:PRGO) is currently trading at a share price of $107.97, a 7.4% decline. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 1.8 million shares. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. The dividend yield is calculated by dividing a company's dividends per share by its stock price. The dividend yield for PRGO is 0.3%, which is on the low end. This could indicate that that the stock is overpriced or that future dividends might be higher. It is important to remember that while a higher dividend yield is more attractive, all else being equal, a higher dividend yield can also indicate greater perceived risk. SEE: Guide To Stock-Picking Strategies: Income Investing

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. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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