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Tickers in this Article: BECN, MDC, WSO, LII, AWI, GFA, GTLS
The market is having a bad day so far: the Nasdaq has decreased 1.7%; the S&P 500 has declined 0.8%; and the Dow is down 0.7%. The capital goods sector is the category of stocks related to the manufacture or distribution of goods. The sector is diverse, containing companies that manufacture machinery used to create capital goods, electrical equipment, aerospace and defense, engineering and construction projects. It is also referred to as the "industrials sector". Performance in the capital goods sector is sensitive to fluctuations in the business cycle. Because it relies heavily on manufacturing, the sector does well when the economy is booming or expanding. As economic conditions worsen, the demand for capital goods drops off, usually lowering the prices of stocks in the sector.

The Capital Goods sector (XLI) is down 1%, outperforming the market overall. Currently, the biggest movers in the sector are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Beacon Roofing Supply (Nasdaq:BECN).41 billion-4.3%
M.D.C. Holdings (NYSE:MDC).93 billion-3.2%
Watsco (NYSE:WSO).36 billion-3%
Lennox International (NYSE:LII).47 billion-2.6%
Armstrong World Industries (NYSE:AWI).85 billion-2.3%
Gafisa SA (NYSE:GFA)9.1 million+2.3%
Chart Industries (Nasdaq:GTLS).14 billion-2.1%
Forex Broker Summary: Forex Capital Markets (FXCM)

After a decline of 4.3%, Beacon Roofing Supply (Nasdaq:BECN) has hit a share price of $28.63. At 1.3 million shares, the company's volume so far today is 2.6 times its average over the past three months. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move.

M.D.C. Holdings (NYSE:MDC) is currently trading at a share price of $38.88, a 3.2% decline. The company's volume for the day so far is 187,238 shares. This is on pace to reach yesterday's trading volume of 413,165 shares. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it.

Watsco (NYSE:WSO) has fallen 3% and is currently trading at $76.96 per share. At 169,185 shares, the company's volume so far today is consistent with its current daily average. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite.

Slipping 2.6%, Lennox International (NYSE:LII) is currently trading at $47.14 per share. So far today, 198,009 shares have changed hands. 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.

Currently trading at $47.30 per share, Armstrong World Industries (NYSE:AWI) has fallen 2.3%. With 178,255 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.8 times the average volume over the last three months. 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.

After rising 2.3%, Gafisa SA (NYSE:GFA) is currently trading at a share price of $3.83. So far today, 862,579 shares of the company's stock have changed hands. This is about the same trading activity as there was yesterday. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest.

Chart Industries (Nasdaq:GTLS) has decreased to $69.99 per share, a 2.1% fall. At 126,568 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.3 times the current daily average. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price.

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. 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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