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Tickers in this Article: BTH, SWI, IOC, CRM, DEL, GWR, FDO
After the morning's trading, the market is not looking good. The Nasdaq is trading down 1%; the S&P 500 is down 0.5%; and the Dow has slipped 0.2%. 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
Blyth (NYSE:BTH)$561.6 million-13.8%
SolarWinds (NYSE:SWI)$4.3 billion-7%
InterOil Corporation (NYSE:IOC)$3.75 billion-4.3%
Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM)$21.36 billion-2.8%
Deltic (NYSE:DEL)$849.6 million+2.3%
Genesee & Wyoming (NYSE:GWR)$2.65 billion+2.3%
Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO)$7.38 billion+2.1%
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Blyth (NYSE:BTH) is at a share price of $28.07 after a sharp decline of 13.8%. So far today, 2.5 million shares have changed hands. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. The price/book value ratio is calculated by dividing the current stock price by the company's book value per share. The P/B ratio for BTH is 4.13, 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. Users need to be careful when applying this ratio though, as it is more useful for industrial companies that have a lot of tangible assets than it is for technology or consumer product companies that may not have much in the way of hard assets. SEE: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

SolarWinds (NYSE:SWI) has decreased to $53.87 per share, a 7% fall. With 937,496 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 1.3 times its current three-month average. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. 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 P/E ratio has been used for ages by analysts and still remains one of the most relevant pieces of stock valuation. The P/E ratio for SWI is 59.6, above the industry average of 4.51. Generally speaking, the higher the P/E ratio, the higher the market expectations for a company's future performance. From the investor's perspective, a stock with a lower ratio is relatively cheaper than a stock with a higher ratio. SEE: Profit With The Power Of Price-To-Earnings

InterOil Corporation (NYSE:IOC) is currently trading at a share price of $74.20, a 4.3% decline. The company is trading at a volume of 324,118 shares. This is on pace to reach yesterday's trading volume of 711,918 shares. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. 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. The debt ratio for IOC is a low 35.6%. This indicates that the company engages in conservative financing with opportunities to borrow in the future at no significant risk. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Currently trading at $147.80 per share, Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) has fallen 2.8%. At 965,598 shares, the company's volume so far today is in keeping with its 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. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. A price/sales ratio is derived by dividing stock market price by company sales. The P/S ratio for CRM is 6.49, which is relatively high. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. 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.

Deltic (NYSE:DEL) is currently trading at $68.65 per share, a 2.3% increase. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 7,518 shares. 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. 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. DEL has a low capitalization ratio of 20.7%. Investors generally consider a company with low debt and high equity levels is a good quality investment. Prudent use of leverage (debt) increases the financial resources available to a company for growth and expansion.

Genesee & Wyoming (NYSE:GWR) is up 2.3% to reach a current price of $66.19 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 682,106 shares, 0.7 times its average over the past three months. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that 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 debt-equity (D/E) ratio is a leverage ratio. GWR's D/E ratio is 61%. 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.

Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO) has increased to a share price of $64.47, a 2.1% rise. The company's volume for the day so far is 516,229 shares. This is on pace to fall short of yesterday's volume of 1.7 million shares. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. 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). FDO has a PEG ratio of 1.2, 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.

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. It is important to weigh current activity against historical performance when making any investment decisions. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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