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Tickers in this Article: GTAT, MLNX, DDD, CRUS, FSLR, SOHU, FFIV
Currently, the Nasdaq is trading down 0.6%, the S&P 500 has moved little and the Dow has moved up 0.1%. 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.

The biggest movers in the Technology sector (XLK) (+0.3%) are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
GT Advanced Technologies (Nasdaq:GTAT)5.6 million+11.3%
Mellanox (Nasdaq:MLNX).61 billion-11.3%
3D (NYSE:DDD).25 billion-5.6%
Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq:CRUS).86 billion-4%
First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR).78 billion+3.4%
Sohu.com (Nasdaq:SOHU).61 billion-3.4%
F5 Networks (Nasdaq:FFIV).92 billion-2.7%
Software Summary: Finviz.com Stock Screener

GT Advanced Technologies (Nasdaq:GTAT) has soared 11.3% to reach a current price of $6.71 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 3.2 million shares. This is 1.1 times the average volume over the last three months. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. 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 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. PEG ratio for GTAT is consistent with the industry average at 0.45. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

Shares of Mellanox (Nasdaq:MLNX) are currently trading at $98.35, a steep decline of 11.3%. The company's volume is currently 4.1 million shares for the day, 3.5 times its current daily average. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. 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. MLNX's P/B ratio of 7.89 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. A weakness of the P/B value ratio is that while the price component is easily determined by looking at the stock quote, the book value component is more difficult to estimate and more open to individual interpretation and analysis. SEE: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

Falling 5.6%, 3D (NYSE:DDD) is currently at a share price of $38.41. So far today, the company's volume is 984,668 shares. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift 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 price/sales ratio is used for spotting recovery situations or for double-checking that a company's growth has not become overvalued. DDD has a high P/S ratio of 6.55. 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.

Currently trading at $42.59 per share, Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq:CRUS) has fallen 4%. At 1.3 million shares, the company's volume so far today is. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. 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 debt ratio shows the proportion of assets that a company is financing through debt. CRUS has a low debt ratio of 18.3%. 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.

After an increase of 3.4%, First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) has reached a current price of $21.14. The company's volume for the day so far is 4.2 million shares. This is in keeping with its current three-month average. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio compares the total liabilities for a company to its total shareholder equity. The debt-equity ratio of 15% is relatively low. Companies with low D/E ratios are more attractive to investors because they are better able to protect their business interests in times of decline. The D/E ratio percentage provides a much more dramatic perspective on a company's leverage position than the debt ratio percentage.

Sohu.com (Nasdaq:SOHU) is trading at $40.93 per share, down 3.4%. The company's volume is currently 184,659 shares for the day, 0.2 times the current daily average. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. The assumption with high price/earnings stocks (generally of the growth variety) is that investors are willing to buy at a high price because they believe that the stock has significant growth potential, and the price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio helps investors determine the degree of reliability of that growth assumption. PEG ratio for SOHU is 0.93. 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.

At $97.52, F5 Networks (Nasdaq:FFIV) has slipped 2.7%. The company's volume for the day so far is 763,157 shares. 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 price/book value ratio is one of the more common methods of determining whether a stock is fairly valued. FFIV has a P/B ratio of 6.01 which shows that its share price is higher than its book value. This may be a sign that the company is overvalued. 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

The Bottom Line On any given day, a particular stock may see positive or negative change in its share price. It is important to weigh current activity against historical performance when making any investment decisions. 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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