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Tickers in this Article: VAC, CLP, Z, HHC, O, MAC, SLG
The morning has been good for the market. The Nasdaq is trading up 1.1%; the S&P 500 has climbed 1.3%; and the Dow has increased 1.4%.

Underperforming the market overall, the Real Estate Operations sector (IYR) is up 0.8%, and these are its current biggest movers:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp (NYSE:VAC)$1 billion+6.6%
Colonial Properties Trust Inc (NYSE:CLP)$1.99 billion-3.1%
Zillow Inc (Nasdaq:Z)$1.19 billion-2.8%
Howard Hughes Corp (NYSE:HHC)$2.32 billion+1.9%
Realty Income Corp (NYSE:O)$5.56 billion-1.8%
Macerich Co (NYSE:MAC)$7.5 billion+1.7%
SL Green Realty Corp (NYSE:SLG)$6.91 billion+1.5%
Broker Summary: TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim

Marriott Vacations (NYSE:VAC) has increased to a share price of $31.16, a 6.6% rise. At 210,115 shares, the company's volume so far today is 1.1 times the average daily volume. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. The price/book value ratio, often expressed simply as "price-to-book", provides investors a way to compare the market value, or what they are paying for each share, to a conservative measure of the value of the firm. VAC has a P/B ratio of 0.93, which shows that its book value is higher than its share price. This is due to one of two possibilities: that the stock is being unfairly or incorrectly undervalued by investors because of some transitory circumstance and represents an attractive buying opportunity at a bargain price or that the market's low opinion and valuation of the company are correct, at least over the foreseeable future. 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

After a decline of 3.1%, Colonial Properties Trust (NYSE:CLP) has hit a share price of $21.99. The company's volume for the day so far is 501,284 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. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. 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. CLP's dividend yield is 3.2%. It is important to remember that while a higher dividend yield is more attractive, all else being equal, a higher dividend yield can also indicate greater perceived risk. SEE: Dividend Yield For The Downturn

Zillow (Nasdaq:Z) has decreased to $40.15 per share, a 2.8% fall. At 261,466 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.4 times the current three-month average. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. 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. 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 Z is a high 13.18. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. A limitation of the P/S ratio is that the price component measures only stock market captialization, while sales are a function of the entire capital structure, potentially leading to wide differences between levered and unlevered companies.

Howard (NYSE:HHC) has moved up 1.9% and is currently trading at $62.18 per share. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 16,415 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 debt ratio is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. The debt ratio for HHC is a low 34.7%. A low debt ratio means the company has more available cash flow. 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.

Realty (NYSE:O) has fallen 1.8% and is currently trading at $40.92 per share. At 430,761 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.7 times the average daily volume. 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. In making a decision about a potential or existing investment, valuation ratios are useful as a basis for seeing whether the stock price is too high, reasonable, or a bargain. The capitalization ratio is calculated by dividing long-term debt by the sum of long-term debt and shareholders' equity. O has a capitalization ratio of 42.9%. Prudent use of leverage (debt) increases the financial resources available to a company for growth and expansion.

After rising 1.7%, Macerich (NYSE:MAC) is currently trading at a share price of $57.58. So far today, the company's volume is 558,200 shares. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock 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 measurement of how much suppliers, lenders, creditors and obligors have committed to the company versus what the shareholders have committed. MAC's D/E ratio of 163% is on the high side. Generally, a high D/E ratio means that the company may have difficulty generating enough cash to pay off its debts. The D/E ratio percentage provides a much more dramatic perspective on a company's leverage position than the debt ratio percentage.

SL Green (NYSE:SLG) has risen 1.5% to hit a current price of $77.62 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 197,356 shares, 0.4 times its 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. 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. A simple P/E ratio can reveal the stock's real market value and show how the valuation compares to its industry group or a benchmark like the S&P 500 Index. The P/E ratio for SLG is 11.6, below the industry average of 14.01. A low P/E might arise due to substantial inherent risk of the firm and its operations, poor return on equity, or improper valuation of the market. From the investor's perspective, a stock with a lower ratio is relatively cheaper than a stock with a higher ratio. SEE: The P/E Ratio: A Good Market-Timing Indicator

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. It is important to weigh current activity against historical performance when making any investment decisions. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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