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Tickers in this Article: CBRL, AGNC, NTES, WTW, ASCMA, AZO, CSTR
On a good day for the market, the Nasdaq has increased 0.1%, the S&P 500 has moved up 0.2% and the Dow is trading up 0.3%.

The Services sector (IYC) is up 0.5%, outperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (Nasdaq:CBRL)$1.48 billion+7%
American Capital (Nasdaq:AGNC)$12.43 billion-4.7% Inc (Nasdaq:NTES)$6.58 billion+3.8%
Weight Watchers International (NYSE:WTW)$3.18 billion-3.2%
Ascent Capital Group (Nasdaq:ASCMA)$777.4 million-3.1%
AutoZone (NYSE:AZO)$13.4 billion+3%
Coinstar (Nasdaq:CSTR)$1.59 billion-2.9%
Software Summary: Stock Screener

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (Nasdaq:CBRL) has risen 7% and is currently trading at $68.08 per share. At 452,901 shares, the company's volume so far today is 2.7 times the average daily volume. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. 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. CBRL's stock is trading for more than its book value with a P/B ratio of 4.7. This may be a sign that the company is overvalued. 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: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

After a decline of 4.7%, American Capital (Nasdaq:AGNC) has hit a share price of $34.68. The company is currently trading a volume of 8.8 million shares. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. 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 dividend yield is measured by taking the annual dividends per share and dividing that number by the stock price. AGNC's dividend yield of 13.7% is on the high end. This could be a sign that the company is a "dividend trap" as companies with high dividends can be risky investments. Simply comparing the level of dividends that two stocks pay does not give a true reflection of which security is more attractive, so investors calculate the dividend yield in order to standardize dividend payments. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Dividend Yield Inc (Nasdaq:NTES) is at $52.12 per share after an increase of 3.8%. The company's volume for the day so far is 776,275 shares, 0.8 times the average volume over the last three months. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. There are generally two price/earnings ratios calculated: the first, called the trailing Price/Earnings ratio, is calculated using the previous years actual earnings; the second, called forward Price/Earnings ratio, is calculated using the next year's estimated earnings. NTES has a P/E ratio of 15.7, high compared to the industry average of 6.84. 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. To determine the P/E ratio, an investor divides the market price of the stock by the earnings-per-share (EPS) of the stock. SEE: Understanding The P/E Ratio

Weight Watchers International (NYSE:WTW) is trading at $55.41 per share, down 3.2%. The company is trading at a volume of 389,698 shares. This is a sign that there will be less trading activity than there was yesterday. 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. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. The easy-to-calculate debt ratio is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on the leverage for a company. WTW has a high debt ratio of 249.5%. This means that most of the company's assets are financed through debt. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Ascent Capital Group (Nasdaq:ASCMA) is down 3.1% to reach $53.08 per share. At 10,953 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.4 times its current daily average. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. 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. In a nutshell, the price/sales ratio shows how much Wall Street values every dollar of the company's sales. ASCMA's P/S ratio of 2.26 is on the high side. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. All things being equal, a low P/S ratio is good news for investors, while a very high one can be a warning sign.

After an increase of 3%, AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) has reached a current price of $368.58. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 1.1 million shares. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. The capitalization ratio measures the debt component of the capital structure, or capitalization of a company (i.e., the sum of long-term debt liabilities and shareholder equity) to support operations and growth. AZO's capitalization ratio of 164.9% is relatively high. If the company is a company is in a highly competitive business and hobbled by high debt, it will find its competitors taking advantage of its problems to grab more market share. Prudent use of leverage (debt) increases the financial resources available to a company for growth and expansion.

At $49.42, Coinstar (Nasdaq:CSTR) has slipped 2.9%. At 1.2 million shares, the company's volume so far today is 1.4 times the current three-month average. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio is a leverage ratio. CSTR's D/E ratio is 66%. 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.

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. Daily stock performance should be weighed against historical performance and put in context of the market overall. 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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