It's been a bad day for the market so far this morning. The Nasdaq has declined 0.8%; the S&P 500 is down 0.5%; and the Dow has fallen 0.7%. 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
Medicis (NYSE:MRX)$1.89 billion+38%
Valeant Pharmaceuticals Int (NYSE:VRX)$15.28 billion+14.9%
SolarWinds (NYSE:SWI)$4.07 billion+6.4%
Annies (NYSE:BNNY)$708.8 million+5.1%
InterOil Corporation (NYSE:IOC)$3.84 billion-4%
Westpac Banking Corporation (NYSE:WBK)$78.07 billion-3.8%
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Medicis (NYSE:MRX) rose a significant 38% to reach $43.54 per share. At 23.8 million shares, the company's volume so far today is above yesterday's volume of 756,084 shares. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. The price/earnings ratio is calculated by taking a stock price and dividing it by the earnings-per-share (EPS). MRX's P/E ratio is 20.5. High P/E stocks could be "growth" stocks, while low PE stocks may be "value" stocks. SEE: How To Use The P/E Ratio And PEG To Tell The Future Of A Stock

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Int (NYSE:VRX) has soared 14.9% to reach a current price of $58.90 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 7.5 million shares. 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/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio divides a company's P/E ratio by its growth rate of earnings-per-share. VRX has a PEG ratio of 15.42. 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.

After rising 6.4%, SolarWinds (NYSE:SWI) is currently trading at a share price of $58.38. With 1.1 million shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 1.4 times the average volume over the last three months. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. 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 price/book value ratio is calculated by dividing the current stock price by the company's book value per share. SWI's stock is trading for more than its book value with a P/B ratio of 13.67. 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: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

After an increase of 5.1%, Annies (NYSE:BNNY) has reached a current price of $43.65. So far today, the company's volume is 283,976 shares. This is one times its current daily average. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. 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 is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. BNNY has a debt ratio of 8.6%, which is fairly low. A low debt ratio means the company has more available cash flow. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

InterOil Corporation (NYSE:IOC) has fallen 4% and is currently trading at $76.36 per share. So far today, 330,283 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-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's debt-equity ratio of 15% 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.

Falling 3.8%, Westpac Banking Corporation (NYSE:WBK) is currently at a share price of $123.89. So far today, 49,241 shares have changed hands. 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. 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. 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 capitalization ratio for WBK is 79.4%, which is fairly high. A high capitalization ratio is not necessarily bad since higher financial leverage can increase the return on a shareholder's investment. A low level of debt and a healthy proportion of equity in a company's capital structure is an indication of financial fitness.

The company's volume for the day so far is 161,390 shares, 0.9 times the current three-month average. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. 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. PANW's P/B ratio of 413.12 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. To put things in perspective, should be made among companies in the same industry rather than across industries. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

The Bottom Line On any given day, a particular stock may see positive or negative change in its share price. Daily stock performance should be weighed against historical performance and put in context of the market overall. Keep in mind that all these ratios should be compared against historical numbers and industry information in order to get a more complete picture.

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Tickers in this Article: MRX, VRX, SWI, BNNY, IOC, WBK, PANW

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