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Tickers in this Article: OMX, OC, FMX, POST, BNNY, SAM, DPS
The Nasdaq is trading up 1.1%, the S&P 500 has increased 0.6% and the Dow has risen 0.4%, marking a bad morning for the market.

The Consumer/Non-Cyclical sector (XLP) is down 0.4% on a good day for the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
OfficeMax (NYSE:OMX)$615.9 million+12%
Owens (NYSE:OC)$3.97 billion+3.2%
Fomento Economico Mexicano SAB (NYSE:FMX)$32.13 billion+3%
Post Holdings (NYSE:POST)$1.1 billion-2.9%
Annies (NYSE:BNNY)$786.5 million+2.3%
Boston Beer Co (NYSE:SAM)$1.36 billion+2.1%
Dr Pepper Snapple (NYSE:DPS)$9.56 billion-2%
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OfficeMax (NYSE:OMX) is trading at $7.96 per share, a significant rise of 12%. So far today, the company's volume is 2.3 million shares, one times the current three-month average. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual 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. OMX's PEG ratio of 1.38 is in line with the industry average. 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.

Owens (NYSE:OC) has risen 3.2% to hit a current price of $34.59 per share. The company is trading at a volume of 1.6 million shares. At this rate, trading activity will likely be down from yesterday when four million shares changed hands. 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. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. 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. OC's P/B ratio of 1.14 shows that its share price is higher than its book value. This may be a sign that the company is overvalued. P/B value ratios are particularly useful to value investors, distressed or "vulture" investors, or any other investors purchasing beaten-down securities but are less useful to investors focused on growth stocks, purchasing IPOs, or investing in technology or other "asset-lite" companies. SEE: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

Increasing 3%, Fomento Economico Mexicano SAB (NYSE:FMX) is trading at $92.50 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 324,130 shares, consistent with its current daily average. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. 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. For investors primarily interested in the income a stock can generate, the dividend yield is an important determinant of how attractive a stock is. FMX's dividend yield of 1.6% is fairly low. If you are an income investor, this stock may not be attractive to you. A higher dividend yield may indicate a risk of a fall in the price of the security, or a cut in the level of dividend payments, either of which would have the effect of dropping future returns. SEE: Due Diligence On Dividends

Post Holdings (NYSE:POST) is trading at $30.95 per share, down 2.9%. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 53,303 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. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. A simple P/E ratio can reveal the stock's real market value and show how the valuation compares to its industry group or a benchmark like the S&P 500 Index. Relative to the industry P/E ratio of 38.99, POST's 26.8 is low. A low P/E might arise due to substantial inherent risk of the firm and its operations, poor return on equity, or improper valuation of the market. 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: Profit With The Power Of Price-To-Earnings

Annies (NYSE:BNNY) is at $47.17 per share after an increase of 2.3%. The company's volume for the day so far is 258,130 shares, 0.9 times its current three-month average. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. 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 ratio shows the proportion of assets that a company is financing through debt. BNNY's debt ratio of 8.6% is on the low side. A low debt ratio means the company has more available cash flow. 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 rising 2.1%, Boston Beer Co (NYSE:SAM) is currently trading at a share price of $107.20. The company's volume for the day so far is 54,650 shares. This is on pace to reach yesterday's trading volume of 124,506 shares. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. A price/sales ratio is derived by dividing stock market price by company sales. SAM's P/S ratio of 2.88 is on the high side. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. 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.

Dr Pepper Snapple (NYSE:DPS) has decreased to $44.50 per share, a 2% fall. So far today, the company's volume is 994,551 shares, 0.9 times the average daily volume. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. A company's capitalization (not to be confused with its market capitalization) is the term used to describe the makeup of a company's permanent or long-term capital, which consists of both long-term debt and shareholders' equity. The capitalization ratio for DPS is 46.8%. This ratio is considered to be one of the more meaningful of the "debt" ratios - it delivers the key insight into the use of leverage by a company.

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. 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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