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Tickers in this Article: LNCE, MNST, HAIN, BEAM, BUD, UNFI, RAH
The market has been doing well after the morning's trading. The Nasdaq is up 1.9%; the S&P 500 has climbed 1.8%; and the Dow has moved up 1.7%.

Underperforming the market overall, the Consumer/Non-Cyclical sector (XLP) is up 1%, and these are its current biggest movers:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Snyder S Lance (Nasdaq:LNCE).54 billion+10.6%
Monster (Nasdaq:MNST).8 billion+3.4%
Hain Celestial Group (Nasdaq:HAIN).21 billion+3.1%
Fortune (NYSE:BEAM).4 billion+3%
Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (NYSE:BUD)8.58 billion+2.2%
United Natural Foods (Nasdaq:UNFI).88 billion+2%
Ralcorp Holdings (NYSE:RAH).97 billion+1.9%
Broker Summary: E-Trade Financial

Snyder S Lance (Nasdaq:LNCE) has soared 10.6% to reach a current price of $24.89 per share. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 269,861 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 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. 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. LNCE's PEG ratio is 1.25. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

Monster (Nasdaq:MNST) has risen 3.4% to hit a current price of $57.47 per share. The company's volume is currently 648,245 shares for the day, 0.3 times the average daily volume. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. 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 price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio) provides a measure of how expensive or cheap a stock is. MNST has a P/E ratio of 31.1, high compared to the industry average of 24.57. A company with a high P/E ratio will eventually have to live up to the high rating by substantially increasing its earnings, or the price will need to drop. From the investor's perspective, a stock with a lower ratio is relatively cheaper than a stock with a higher ratio. SEE: Understanding The P/E Ratio

Hain Celestial Group (Nasdaq:HAIN) has risen 3.1% and is currently trading at $73.52 per share. The company is trading at a volume of 235,786 shares. This is a sign that there will be less trading activity than there was yesterday. 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. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. The price/book value ratio is especially important for value investors as it can provide an indication of the true value of a company's assets at a time when its business model may be failing. The P/B ratio for HAIN is 3.43, indicating that the stock is trading for more 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 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

Fortune (NYSE:BEAM) has moved up 3% and is currently trading at $61.11 per share. The company's volume is currently 308,872 shares for the day, consistent with its current three-month 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. Dividend yield is a way to measure how much cash flow you are getting for each dollar invested in an equity position - in other words, how much "bang for your buck" you are getting from dividends. The dividend yield for BEAM is 1.4%, which is on the low end. A company with a low dividend yield may be a safer investment in the long run. For income-oriented investors such as retirees, a stock with a high dividend yield may be more attractive than a stock with a low dividend yield. SEE: Due Diligence On Dividends

After rising 2.2%, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (NYSE:BUD) is currently trading at a share price of $88.19. The company's volume for the day so far is 866,989 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. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. While measuring a price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio) is a popular valuation technique, the measure cannot be calculated for companies without earnings, so some investors analyze the price/sales ratio. The P/S ratio for BUD is 3.26, which is relatively high. In young companies, a high P/S ratio is a sign of sales growth that is expected to turn into earnings and cash flow. 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.

After an increase of 2%, United Natural Foods (Nasdaq:UNFI) has reached a current price of $60.02. So far today, the company's volume is 46,185 shares, 0.2 times the current daily average. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. 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. The debt ratio measures the leverage of a company, and a company's leverage is a good way to assess risk. UNFI has a debt ratio of 40.1%, which is fairly low. 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.

Ralcorp Holdings (NYSE:RAH) is currently trading at $73.31 per share, a 1.9% increase. The company's volume is currently 87,710 shares. This is a sign that there will be less trading activity than there was yesterday. 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 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. 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. RAH's P/B ratio of 1.5 shows that its share price is higher than its book value. This may be a sign that the company is overvalued. 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: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. 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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