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Tickers in this Article: AGNC, Z, FOR, OFC, VAC, WPC, SSS
The Nasdaq has climbed 0.1%, the S&P 500 is up 0.2% and the Dow has risen 0.3% on a good day for the market so far.

The Real Estate Operations sector (IYR) is down 0.3% on a good day for the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
American Capital (Nasdaq:AGNC)$12.43 billion-4.7%
Zillow (Nasdaq:Z)$1.25 billion+2.8%
Forestar Group (NYSE:FOR)$594.8 million+2.6%
Corporate Office (NYSE:OFC)$1.81 billion+1.7%
Marriott Vacations (NYSE:VAC)$1.24 billion-1.6%
W. P (NYSE:WPC)$2.04 billion+1.5%
Sovran Self Storage (NYSE:SSS)$1.68 billion+1.2%
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American Capital (Nasdaq:AGNC) has decreased to $34.68 per share, a 4.7% fall. At 8.8 million shares, the company's volume so far today is 1.3 times the current daily average. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price 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/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio divides a company's P/E ratio by its growth rate of earnings-per-share. AGNC's PEG ratio is 4.55. 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.

Zillow (Nasdaq:Z) is at $44.01 per share after an increase of 2.8%. The company is currently trading a volume of 545,883 shares. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. 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 Z is 11.43, indicating that the stock is trading for more 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: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

Increasing 2.6%, Forestar Group (NYSE:FOR) is trading at $17.60 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 18,437 shares, 0.1 times the current three-month average. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. Price/earnings ratios (P/E ratios) provide a measure of the relative value of a stock. FOR has a P/E ratio of 35.7. A high P/E ratio indicates a stock that is expensive, while a low P/E ratio indicates a stock that is cheap. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Earnings Ratio

After rising 1.7%, Corporate Office (NYSE:OFC) is currently trading at a share price of $25.50. The company's volume for the day so far is 317,399 shares. 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 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 debt ratio gives users a quick measure of the amount of debt that the company has on its balance sheets compared to its assets. OFC has a debt ratio of 65.7%, which is on the high side. This means that the company's cash flow is significantly impacted by paying off principal and interest and that any negative change in performance or rise in interest rates could result in default. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Currently trading at $35.50 per share, Marriott Vacations (NYSE:VAC) has fallen 1.6%. At 50,426 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.2 times its current daily average. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. 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. The capitalization ratio is calculated by dividing long-term debt by the sum of long-term debt and shareholders' equity. VAC's capitalization ratio is 38.2%. Prudent use of leverage (debt) increases the financial resources available to a company for growth and expansion.

W. P (NYSE:WPC) is up 1.5% to reach a current price of $51.21 per share. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 34,116 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. 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. The D/E ratio for WPC is 83%. 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.

Sovran Self Storage (NYSE:SSS) has increased to a share price of $57.86, a 1.2% rise. The company's volume is currently 41,592 shares for the day, 0.1 times its current three-month average. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. When used consistently and uniformly, the price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio is an essential tool that adds dimension to the price/earnings ratio, allows comparisons across diverse industries and is always on the lookout for value. SSS has a PEG ratio of 4.29. 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. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. 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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