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Tickers in this Article: EOG, AREX, PXP, WLL, SWN, BRY, EGN
The Nasdaq has climbed 2.2%, the S&P 500 has increased 2% and the Dow is up 1.8%, marking a bad morning for the market.

The Oil and Gas Operations sector (DIG) is up 4.5%, outperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG)$25.91 billion+10.5%
Approach Resources Inc. (Nasdaq:AREX)$897.5 million-8.4%
Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP)$5.05 billion+5.7%
Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:WLL)$4.61 billion+5.6%
Southwestern Energy (NYSE:SWN)$11.22 billion-5.1%
Berry Petroleum Company (NYSE:BRY)$1.99 billion+5.1%
Energen Corporation (NYSE:EGN)$3.57 billion+4.8%
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EOG (NYSE:EOG) is trading at $106.18 per share, a significant rise of 10.5%. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 2.8 million shares. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. 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. 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. EOG's debt-equity ratio of 39% is on the low end. Companies with low D/E ratios are more attractive to investors because they are better able to protect their business interests in times of decline. The D/E ratio is not a pure measurement of a company's debt because it includes operational liabilities in total liabilities.

Slipping 8.4%, Approach Resources (Nasdaq:AREX) is currently trading at $24.52 per share. The company's volume is currently 840,206 shares for the day, 2.4 times its average over the past three months. 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. As with most ratios, comparisons of company price/earnings to growth ratios (PEG ratios) are most appropriate for similar companies. PEG ratio for AREX is 5.45. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

Plains Exploration & Production (NYSE:PXP) has increased to a share price of $41.40, a 5.7% rise. The company's volume for the day so far is 722,135 shares. At this rate, trading activity will likely be down from yesterday when 3.4 million shares changed hands. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. 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 PXP is 1.72, indicating that the stock is trading for more than its book value. It is important to take the company's debt into account when using the P/B ratio as debt can boost a company's liabilities to the point where they wipe out much of the book value of its hard assets, creating artificially high P/B values. 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: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

Increasing 5.6%, Whiting (NYSE:WLL) is trading at $41.41 per share. The company's volume is currently 524,810 shares for the day, 0.3 times the current daily average. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. 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. Perhaps one of the most widely-used stock analysis tools is the price-to-earnings ratio, or P/E. WLL's P/E ratio of 9.3 is under the industry average of 35.68. 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. A high P/E ratio indicates a stock that is expensive, while a low P/E ratio indicates a stock that is cheap. SEE: Understanding The P/E Ratio

Southwestern Energy (NYSE:SWN) has decreased to $30.48 per share, a 5.1% fall. So far today, the company's volume is 6.9 million shares. 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. The debt ratio shows the proportion of assets that a company is financing through debt. SWN's debt ratio is 51.5%. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Berry Petroleum (NYSE:BRY) is at $38.60 per share after an increase of 5.1%. With 631,355 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.8 times the average volume over the last three months. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. In a nutshell, the price/sales ratio shows how much Wall Street values every dollar of the company's sales. The P/S ratio for BRY is 2.65, which is relatively high. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. 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.

After rising 4.8%, Energen (NYSE:EGN) is currently trading at a share price of $51.95. The company is trading at a volume of 324,317 shares. This is on pace to reach yesterday's trading volume of 782,618 shares. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. 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. EGN has a low capitalization ratio of 30%. Low leverage is a significant balance sheet strength, a sign of a less risky investment. Prudent use of leverage (debt) increases the financial resources available to a company for growth and expansion.

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

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