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Tickers in this Article: VAC, Z, PEB, DFT, HHC, AVB, WPC
The market is currently up, with the Nasdaq increasing 0.5%, the S&P 500 rising 0.3% and the Dow moving up 0.1%.

The Real Estate Operations sector (IYR) is up 0.1%, underperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector are currently:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Marriott Vacations (NYSE:VAC)$1.06 billion+3.6%
Zillow (Nasdaq:Z)$1.11 billion+2%
Pebblebrook (NYSE:PEB)$1.39 billion+1.7%
DuPont Fabros Technology (NYSE:DFT)$1.72 billion+1.1%
Howard (NYSE:HHC)$2.52 billion-0.8%
Avalonbay (NYSE:AVB)$13.97 billion-0.7%
W. P (NYSE:WPC)$1.9 billion+0.7%
Beginner's Guide To

Marriott Vacations (NYSE:VAC) has increased to a share price of $31.94, a 3.6% rise. So far today, the company's volume is 140,130 shares, above yesterday's volume of 79,771 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 provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a 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. The P/B ratio for VAC is 0.95 because the stock is trading for less than its book value. This could mean that either the market believes the asset value is overstated, or the company is earning a very poor (even negative) return on its assets. All else being equal, a stock with a low P/B value ratio is more attractive than a stock with a high ratio. SEE: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

Zillow (Nasdaq:Z) is currently trading at $38.66 per share, a 2% increase. The company's volume for the day so far is 242,152 shares. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. 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 ratio is calculated by taking a stock price and dividing it by the earnings-per-share (EPS). Z has a P/E ratio of 541.3, high compared to the industry average of 7.51. This could mean that the market is expecting big things over the next few months or years. 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: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Earnings Ratio

Rising 1.7%, Pebblebrook (NYSE:PEB) is currently trading at $23.90 per share. With 72,013 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.3 times the average volume over the last three months. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. 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 price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio is calculated by dividing the price/earnings ratio by growth in earnings-per-share; the lower the PEG ratio, the more reasonably valued the security. PEB's PEG ratio is 20.99. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

After an increase of 1.1%, DuPont Fabros Technology (NYSE:DFT) has reached a current price of $27.47. So far this morning, 57,509 shares have changed hands. This is 0.2 times its average daily volume. 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. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. The dividend yield is calculated by dividing a company's dividends per share by its stock price. Dividend yield for DFT is 2.2%. Just as with the yield on a bond or certificate of deposit, the higher the dividend yield, the higher the return to the investor. SEE: Due Diligence On Dividends

Falling 0.8%, Howard (NYSE:HHC) is currently at a share price of $65.90. At 74,208 shares, the company's volume so far today is. 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. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. The price/sales ratio measures a company's stock market value by its total revenues or alternatively, a company's price per share by its revenue per share. The P/S ratio for HHC is 6.77, 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 compare P/S ratios for companies in the same industry, as ratios can vary quite widely for companies in different industries.

Avalonbay (NYSE:AVB) is currently trading at a share price of $143.21, a 0.7% decline. So far today, the company's volume is 137,846 shares. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. 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 easy-to-calculate debt ratio is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on the leverage for a company. AVB has a low debt ratio of 45.5%. This indicates that the company engages in conservative financing with opportunities to borrow in the future at no significant risk. However, one thing to note with this ratio: it isn't a pure measure of a company's debt (or indebtedness), as it also includes operational liabilities, such as accounts payable and taxes payable.

Increasing 0.7%, W. P (NYSE:WPC) is trading at $47.30 per share. The company's volume is currently 4,122 shares for the day, 0.1 times the current three-month 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. 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 leverage ratio. WPC has a D/E ratio of 83%. The D/E ratio is not a pure measurement of a company's debt because it includes operational liabilities in total liabilities.

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. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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