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Tickers in this Article: JOE, HHC, PMT, HPT, DLR, CPT, PICO
After the morning's trading, the Nasdaq has increased 0.2%, the S&P 500 has been relatively flat and the Dow has remained steady.

The Real Estate Operations sector (IYR) has risen 0.1% so far today and here are its biggest movers:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
The St. Joe Company (NYSE:JOE)$1.75 billion-1.7%
Howard Hughes Corp (NYSE:HHC)$2.49 billion-1.5%
PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (NYSE:PMT)$915.6 million-1.5%
Hospitality Properties Trust (NYSE:HPT)$2.88 billion+1.4%
Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:DLR)$9.3 billion-1.1%
Camden Property Trust (NYSE:CPT)$5.57 billion+1%
PICO Holdings Inc (Nasdaq:PICO)$510.3 million-0.9%
Software Summary: Stock Screener

Falling 1.7%, St. Joe (NYSE:JOE) is currently at a share price of $18.59. So far today, the company's volume is 100,523 shares. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. 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 capitalization ratio is calculated by dividing long-term debt by the sum of long-term debt and shareholders' equity. JOE has a fairly low capitalization ratio of 8.7%. Low leverage is a significant balance sheet strength, a sign of a less risky investment. A low level of debt and a healthy proportion of equity in a company's capital structure is an indication of financial fitness.

Howard (NYSE:HHC) is trading at $64.53 per share, down 1.5%. So far today, the company's volume is 16,405 shares, 0.2 times the 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. 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 easy-to-calculate debt ratio is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on the leverage for a company. HHC has a debt ratio of 35.2%, which is fairly low. A low debt ratio means the company has more available cash flow. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

PennyMac Mortgage (NYSE:PMT) is currently trading at a share price of $21.75, a 1.5% decline. The company's volume is currently 131,520 shares. This is a sign that there will be less trading activity than there was yesterday. 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. When used consistently and uniformly, the price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio is an essential tool that adds dimension to the price/earnings ratio, allows comparisons across diverse industries and is always on the lookout for value. PEG ratio for PMT is consistent with the industry average at 0.53. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

Hospitality (NYSE:HPT) is currently trading at $23.61 per share, a 1.4% increase. At 210,485 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.3 times its 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. A company's value as an investment is more easily 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/book value ratio is one of the more common methods of determining whether a stock is fairly valued. HPT's P/B ratio of 1.24 shows that its share price is higher than its book value. 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. All else being equal, a stock with a low P/B value ratio is more attractive than a stock with a high ratio. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

Digital Realty Trust (NYSE:DLR) has decreased to $75.45 per share, a 1.1% fall. So far today, 142,252 shares have changed hands. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. The dividend yield is measured by taking the annual dividends per share and dividing that number by the stock price. DLR's dividend yield is 3.8%. A stock's dividend yield depends on the nature of a company's business, its posture in the marketplace (value or growth oriented), its earnings and cash flow, and its dividend policy. SEE: Due Diligence On Dividends

Camden (NYSE:CPT) is at $67.30 per share after an increase of 1%. At 250,667 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.4 times the average volume over the last three months. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. In a nutshell, the price/sales ratio shows how much Wall Street values every dollar of the company's sales. CPT has a high P/S ratio of 7.76. In young companies, a high P/S ratio is a sign of sales growth that is expected to turn into earnings and cash flow. 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.

Falling 0.9%, PICO Holdings (Nasdaq:PICO) is currently at a share price of $22.21. The company's volume for the day so far is 23,930 shares. This is a sign that there will be less 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 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-equity (D/E) ratio compares the total liabilities for a company to its total shareholder equity. PICO's debt-equity ratio of 25% is on the low end. This shows that the company's assets are financed primarily through equity. 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. 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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