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Tickers in this Article: ANGI, NCR, IMPV, CVLT, MCRS, CHKP, ATHN
The market is on the rise this morning. The Nasdaq is trading up 0.6%; the S&P 500 has risen 0.3%; and the Dow has increased 0.3%. The technology sector is a category of stocks relating to the research, development and/or distribution of technologically based goods and services. This sector contains businesses revolving around the manufacturing of electronics, creation of software, computers or products and services relating to information technology. The technology sector offers a wide arrange of products and services for both customers and other businesses. Consumer goods like personal computers, stereos and televisions are continually improved and upgraded, offering the latest technology to all users. Businesses receive information and services from software and database systems, which allow the companies to make strategic business decisions.

Underperforming the market overall, the Technology sector (XLK) is up 0.3%, and these are its current biggest movers:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Angie\'s List Inc (Nasdaq:ANGI)$767.7 million-16.1%
NCR Corporation (NYSE:NCR)$4 billion-11.2%
Imperva Inc (NYSE:IMPV)$732.4 million-7.1%
CommVault Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CVLT)$2.37 billion-5.2%
MICROS Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:MCRS)$3.93 billion-3.9%
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq:CHKP)$10.51 billion-3.4%
athenahealth, Inc (Nasdaq:ATHN)$3.34 billion-2.4%
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Angie's List (Nasdaq:ANGI) is at a share price of $11.15 after a sharp decline of 16.1%. With 1.9 million shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is nine times its current three-month average. 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. 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. The price/book value ratio is calculated by dividing the current stock price by the company's book value per share. ANGI has a P/B ratio of 19.22 which shows that its share price is higher 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. 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: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

NCR (NYSE:NCR) is currently trading at $22.31 per share, after a steep drop of 11.2%. The company is currently trading a volume of 4.9 million shares. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. 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. 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. NCR has a low P/S ratio of 0.63. A company with a lower P/S ratio is generally considered more attractive, since investors are paying less for each dollar of sales. 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.

Slipping 7.1%, Imperva (NYSE:IMPV) is currently trading at $29.51 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 368,789 shares, 1.2 times the average daily volume. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. 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. The debt ratio measures the leverage of a company, and a company's leverage is a good way to assess risk. IMPV has a debt ratio of 41.6%, which is fairly low. This indicates that the company engages in conservative financing with opportunities to borrow in the future at no significant risk. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

At $50, CommVault Systems (Nasdaq:CVLT) has slipped 5.2%. The company is trading at a volume of 522,947 shares. Yesterday, volume was only 247,587 shares. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. The price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio can reveal value what price/earnings (P/E) ratios alone may not so that if a company has a high P/E ratio (an indication that its stock is overpriced) but its earnings are growing very quickly, the PEG ratio may reveal that the company is actually fairly valued, or perhaps even a bargain. CVLT has a PEG ratio of 3.22. 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.

Falling 3.9%, MICROS Systems (Nasdaq:MCRS) is currently at a share price of $46.98. At 391,427 shares, the company's volume so far today is one times its average over the past three months. 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. 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 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. MCRS' stock is trading for more than its book value with a P/B ratio of 3.53. 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. 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: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

After a decline of 3.4%, Check Point Software (Nasdaq:CHKP) has hit a share price of $48.99. So far today, 1.1 million shares have changed hands. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. The price/sales ratio is used for spotting recovery situations or for double-checking that a company's growth has not become overvalued. CHKP's P/S ratio of 7.87 is on the high side. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. All things being equal, a low P/S ratio is good news for investors, while a very high one can be a warning sign.

athenahealth (Nasdaq:ATHN) is down 2.4% to reach $90.43 per share. The company's volume is currently 124,720 shares for the day, 0.3 times the current daily average. 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. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. A company's price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio) provides a measure of how expensive or cheap a stock is. The P/E ratio for ATHN is 200.0, above the industry average of 44.82. A company with a high P/E ratio will eventually have to live up to the high rating by substantially increasing its earnings, or the price will need to drop. To determine the P/E ratio, an investor divides the market price of the stock by the earnings-per-share (EPS) of the stock. SEE: Understanding The P/E Ratio

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. Keep in mind that all these ratios should be compared against historical numbers and industry information in order to get a more complete picture.

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