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Tickers in this Article: DV, R, SIX, AVY, STRA, STON, ESI
The morning has been bad for the market. The Nasdaq has decreased 0.2%; the S&P 500 is down 0.5%; and the Dow has fallen 0.6%.

The Services sector (IYC) is currently lagging behind the overall market, down 0.5%, and its current biggest movers are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
DeVry Inc. (NYSE:DV).8 billion-24.5%
Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE:R).78 billion+8.8%
Six Flags Entertainment Corp (NYSE:SIX).85 billion+7.5%
Avery Dennison (NYSE:AVY).93 billion+7.3%
Strayer Education Inc (Nasdaq:STRA).21 billion-6.5%
StoneMor Partners L.P. (NYSE:STON)0.7 million-6.5%
ITT Educational Services, Inc. (NYSE:ESI).38 billion-6.2%
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Taking a 24.5% hit, DeVry (NYSE:DV) is currently trading at $20.81 per share. With 6.2 million shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 10.3 times its 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. 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 easy-to-calculate debt ratio is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on the leverage for a company. DV has a low debt ratio of 34%. 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.

After an increase of 8.8%, Ryder System (NYSE:R) has reached a current price of $37.71. The company's volume for the morning is 983,716 shares. This is one times the average daily volume. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. 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 price/sales ratio is used for spotting recovery situations or for double-checking that a company's growth has not become overvalued. The P/S ratio for R is 0.44, which is relatively low. Low P/S ratios are more attractive than high ratios because this indicates that an investor is paying less for each dollar of sales. 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.

Increasing 7.5%, Six Flags (NYSE:SIX) is trading at $56.53 per share. So far today, one million shares have changed hands, which is more trading activity than there was yesterday. 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 capitalization ratio is calculated by dividing long-term debt by the sum of long-term debt and shareholders' equity. SIX's capitalization ratio of 59.2% is relatively high. A company considered too highly leveraged (too much debt) may find its freedom of action restricted by its creditors and/or have its profitability hurt by high interest costs. This ratio is considered to be one of the more meaningful of the "debt" ratios - it delivers the key insight into the use of leverage by a company.

Avery (NYSE:AVY) is at $30.30 per share after an increase of 7.3%. So far today, the company's volume is 1.3 million 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 can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. One of the most important estimates of stock market valuation is the price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio). AVY has a P/E ratio of 16.1, high compared to the industry average of 8.16. Generally speaking, the higher the P/E ratio, the higher the market expectations for a company's future performance. 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

Currently trading at $95 per share, Strayer Education (Nasdaq:STRA) has fallen 6.5%. The company's volume for the day so far is 218,717 shares, 1.7 times its average over the past three months. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. 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. STRA has a PEG ratio of 1.63, which is consistent with the industry average. While P/E ratios are important indicators of market value, a high P/E in and of itself is not bad because it may indicate a company whose earnings are growing very rapidly, so many investors look at the PEG ratio in order to get an idea of whether or not a particular P/E ratio is justified by underlying earnings growth.

StoneMor Partners (NYSE:STON) has fallen 6.5% and is currently trading at $25.62 per share. This morning, the company's volume is 123,677 shares. This is 1.2 times its current daily average. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. 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 price/book value ratio is one of the more common methods of determining whether a stock is fairly valued. STON's P/B ratio of 2.91 shows that its share price is higher 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. A weakness of the P/B value ratio is that while the price component is easily determined by looking at the stock quote, the book value component is more difficult to estimate and more open to individual interpretation and analysis. SEE: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

ITT Educational Services (NYSE:ESI) has decreased to $53.82 per share, a 6.2% fall. So far today, the company's volume is 328,810 shares,. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. 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 debt-equity (D/E) ratio is a leverage ratio. ESI's D/E ratio of 191% is on the high side. Companies with high D/E ratios may have difficulty attracting additional investment capital. 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 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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