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Tickers in this Article: EPR, WRE, DLR, Z, FRT, CLI, SFI
The market is currently up, with the Nasdaq up 1.4%, the S&P 500 rising 1.1% and the Dow climbing 0.8%.

The Real Estate Operations sector (IYR) is up 1.1%, underperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector are currently:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Entertainment Properties Trust (NYSE:EPR)$1.99 billion+7.2%
Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE:WRE)$1.84 billion-4.2%
Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:DLR)$9.29 billion+1.8%
Zillow Inc (Nasdaq:Z)$1.14 billion-1.7%
Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE:FRT)$6.82 billion+1.6%
Mack Cali Realty Corp (NYSE:CLI)$2.43 billion-1.5%
iStar Financial Inc. (NYSE:SFI)$574.5 million-1.5%
Beginner's Guide To

Increasing 7.2%, Entertainment (NYSE:EPR) is trading at $45.52 per share. The company's volume is currently 190,602 shares for the day, 0.8 times its current three-month average. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. Dividend yield is a way to measure how much cash flow you are getting for each dollar invested in an equity position - in other words, how much "bang for your buck" you are getting from dividends. EPR has a dividend yield of 7.1%. For income-oriented investors such as retirees, a stock with a high dividend yield may be more attractive than a stock with a low dividend yield. SEE: Guide To Stock-Picking Strategies: Income Investing

Washington Real Estate (NYSE:WRE) is trading at $26.54 per share, down 4.2%. The company is currently trading a volume of 1.3 million shares. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. 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 measures a company's stock market price by its revenues. WRE's P/S ratio of 6.48 is on the high side. 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.

After rising 1.8%, Digital Realty Trust (NYSE:DLR) is currently trading at a share price of $77.78. At 502,909 shares, the company's volume so far today is lighter than yesterday's volume of 1.8 million shares. 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. The debt ratio gives users a quick measure of the amount of debt that the company has on its balance sheets compared to its assets. The debt ratio for DLR is 60%. 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.

Currently trading at $39.00 per share, Zillow (Nasdaq:Z) has fallen 1.7%. This morning, the company's volume is 199,874 shares. This is 0.3 times its average daily volume. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. The price/book value ratio is especially important for value investors as it can provide an indication of the true value of a company's assets at a time when its business model may be failing. Z's stock is trading for more than its book value with a P/B ratio of 10.46. 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

After an increase of 1.6%, Federal Realty (NYSE:FRT) has reached a current price of $108.46. So far today, the company's volume is 48,256 shares, 0.1 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. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. The dividend yield is measured by taking the annual dividends per share and dividing that number by the stock price. FRT's dividend yield is 2.6%. Simply comparing the level of dividends that two stocks pay does not give a true reflection of which security is more attractive, so investors calculate the dividend yield in order to standardize dividend payments. SEE: Due Diligence On Dividends

Mack Cali (NYSE:CLI) has decreased to $27.25 per share, a 1.5% fall. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 1.2 million shares. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. In a nutshell, the price/sales ratio shows how much Wall Street values every dollar of the company's sales. The P/S ratio for CLI is a high 3.5. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. It is important to keep in mind when looking at the P/S ratio that just because a company is generating revenues, this does not mean that the company is profitable, and in the long run, profits drive stock prices.

iStar Financial (NYSE:SFI) is currently trading at a share price of $6.71, a 1.5% decline. This morning, 238,866 shares have been traded, consistent with the volume from yesterday while it was 479,573 shares yesterday. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. 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 easy-to-calculate debt ratio is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on the leverage for a company. SFI's debt ratio of 80.7% 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.

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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