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Tickers in this Article: SAM, BEAM, ANDE, MNST, STZ, SJM, EL
This morning's trading has marked a bad day for the market so far. The Nasdaq has decreased 0.2%; the S&P 500 has fallen 0.3%; and the Dow is down 0.2%.

The Consumer/Non-Cyclical sector (XLP) is currently lagging behind the overall market, down 0.3%, and its current biggest movers are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Boston Beer Co (NYSE:SAM)$1.41 billion-3.3%
Fortune (NYSE:BEAM)$9.53 billion-3.2%
Andersons (Nasdaq:ANDE)$695.6 million+2.9%
Monster (Nasdaq:MNST)$10.73 billion-2.2%
Constellation Brands, Inc (NYSE:STZ)$5.76 billion-2.2%
JM (NYSE:SJM)$9.16 billion+1.9%
Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL)$23.95 billion-1.8%
Broker Summary: TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim

Boston Beer Co (NYSE:SAM) is currently trading at a share price of $105.57, a 3.3% decline. The company's volume for the day so far is 31,091 shares. This is a sign that there will be less trading activity than there was yesterday. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor 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 debt ratio gives users a quick measure of the amount of debt that the company has on its balance sheets compared to its assets. SAM's debt ratio of 31.1% is on the low side. This indicates that the company engages in conservative financing with opportunities to borrow in the future at no significant risk. 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.

Falling 3.2%, Fortune (NYSE:BEAM) is currently at a share price of $58.25. The company's volume is currently 502,153 shares for the day, 0.8 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. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. There are generally two price/earnings ratios calculated: the first, called the trailing Price/Earnings ratio, is calculated using the previous years actual earnings; the second, called forward Price/Earnings ratio, is calculated using the next year's estimated earnings. BEAM has a P/E ratio of 14.1, in line with the industry average. 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: How To Use The P/E Ratio And PEG To Tell The Future Of A Stock

Andersons (Nasdaq:ANDE) has moved up 2.9% and is currently trading at $38.49 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 33,866 shares. 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. 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. ANDE has a capitalization ratio of 35%. A low level of debt and a healthy proportion of equity in a company's capital structure is an indication of financial fitness.

Monster (Nasdaq:MNST) has decreased to $59.52 per share, a 2.2% fall. With 734,129 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.1 times the average volume over the last three months. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. If the price/book value ratio of a stock is high, it may indicate that the stock is expensive, while a lower ratio may indicate that the stock is a bargain. The P/B ratio for MNST is 8.84, indicating that the stock is trading for more 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. One problem with the P/B value ratio is that it can be difficult to calculate the true book value of a company, so investors should be aware that many measures of book value may provide only a rough estimate, and should be taken with a grain of salt. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

Constellation Brands, Inc (NYSE:STZ) is down 2.2% to reach $31.80 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 1.3 million shares. This is on pace to reach yesterday's trading volume of 2.7 million shares. 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. 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. 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. STZ has a high P/S ratio of 1.29. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. 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.

After rising 1.9%, JM (NYSE:SJM) is currently trading at a share price of $84.50. The company's volume is currently 623,963 shares for the day, 0.9 times the average daily volume. 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. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. As with most ratios, comparisons of company price/earnings to growth ratios (PEG ratios) are most appropriate for similar companies. PEG ratio for SJM is consistent with the industry average at 2.7. 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.

Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) has fallen 1.8% and is currently trading at $60.49 per share. So far today, 656,678 shares have changed hands. 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. 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 debt-equity (D/E) ratio is a leverage ratio. The debt-equity ratio of 47% is relatively low. This shows that the company's assets are financed primarily through equity. This easy-to-calculate ratio provides a general indication of a company's equity-liability relationship and is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on a company's leverage.

The Bottom Line On any given day, a particular stock may see positive or negative change in its share price. Daily stock performance should be weighed against historical performance and put in context of the market overall. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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