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Tickers in this Article: ZUMZ, URI, WPC, DIN, STRA, CHTR, NFLX
The market has been slipping so far today. The Nasdaq is down 1%; the S&P 500 has slipped 0.5%; and the Dow is trading down 0.2%.

The Services sector (IYC) is currently ahead of the overall market, down only 0.5%, and its biggest movers are currently:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Zumiez (Nasdaq:ZUMZ)$796.1 million+6.2%
United Rentals (NYSE:URI)$3.19 billion-5.9%
W. P (NYSE:WPC)$2.15 billion-4%
DineEquity (NYSE:DIN)$1.04 billion-3.2%
Strayer Education (Nasdaq:STRA)$745.1 million+2.9%
Charter Communications (Nasdaq:CHTR)$7.6 billion-2.6%
Netflix (Nasdaq:NFLX)$2.99 billion+2.5%
Software Summary: Stock Screener

After an increase of 6.2%, Zumiez (Nasdaq:ZUMZ) has reached a current price of $26.96. So far this morning, 719,069 shares have changed hands. This is 0.9 times the current daily average. 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. Using price/earnings ratios (P/E ratios) does not give an indication of whether or not an individual company's ratio is reasonable, a shortcoming that can be corrected by using the price/earnings to growth ratio (PEG ratio). ZUMZ has a PEG ratio of 1.09, which is consistent with the industry average. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

Slipping 5.9%, United Rentals (NYSE:URI) is currently trading at $32.40 per share. So far today, 2.8 million shares have changed hands,. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. Valuation ratios include 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. One of the favorite tools of many value investors is analyzing price/book value ratios, as it provides a measure of the underlying value of a company's assets as compared to the valuation of its equity. URI's stock is trading for more than its book value with a P/B ratio of 2.15. This implies that investors expect management to create more value from a given set of assets and/or that the market value of the firm's assets is significantly higher than their accounting value. P/B has its shortcomings but is still widely used as a valuation metric, more relevant for use by investors looking at capital-intensive or finance-related businesses, such as banks; book value does not carry much meaning for service-based firms with few tangible assets. SEE: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

At $51.21, W. P (NYSE:WPC) has slipped 4%. The company's volume for the day so far is 25,137 shares. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price 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. Dividend yield measures the income that a stock will generate for an investor. WPC's dividend yield is 4.9%. It is important to remember that dividends are only one component of a stock's return and capital appreciation (or decline) must also be considered when evaluating a security. SEE: Dividend Yield For The Downturn

DineEquity (NYSE:DIN) is down 3.2% to reach $55.10 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 54,017 shares, 0.7 times the current three-month average. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. The price/sales ratio measures a company's stock market price by its revenues. The P/S ratio for DIN is 0.83, which is relatively low. Highly levered companies are likely to have lower P/S ratios because the price aspect of this ratio only measures stock market valuation while sales is a function of both stock market and bond market capitalization. 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.

Strayer Education (Nasdaq:STRA) has increased to a share price of $64.54, a 2.9% rise. The company's volume for the day so far is 23,360 shares. This is 0.2 times the 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. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. The debt ratio is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. STRA's debt ratio of 68.5% is fairly high. This might mean that the company now has low borrowing capacity, which reduces it's financial flexibility. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Charter Communications (Nasdaq:CHTR) has fallen 2.6% and is currently trading at $73.51 per share. At 380,277 shares, the company's volume so far today is on pace to reach yesterday's volume of 703,201 shares. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. 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. CHTR has a high capitalization ratio of 98.1%. The company may have trouble meeting operating and debt liabilities on time and surviving adverse economic conditions. 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.

Netflix (Nasdaq:NFLX) is at $55.15 per share after an increase of 2.5%. The company is currently trading a volume of 2.4 million shares. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. 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 P/E ratio has been used for ages by analysts and still remains one of the most relevant pieces of stock valuation. Relative to the industry P/E ratio of 46.18, NFLX's 31.0 is low. 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: The P/E Ratio: A Good Market-Timing Indicator

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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