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Tickers in this Article: HCP, VAC, CPT, HCN, HHC, HIW, Z
On a bad day for the market, the Nasdaq is down 0.2%, the S&P 500 has slipped 0.4% and the Dow has decreased 0.6%.

The Real Estate Operations sector (IYR) is down 0.1%, outperforming the market overall. Currently, the biggest movers in the sector are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
HCP (NYSE:HCP).46 billion-1.4%
Marriott Vacations (NYSE:VAC).07 billion+1.2%
Camden (NYSE:CPT).77 billion+1.1%
Health Care REIT (NYSE:HCN).29 billion-1%
Howard (NYSE:HHC).46 billion+0.9%
Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW).52 billion-0.9%
Zillow (Nasdaq:Z).11 billion+0.8%
Broker Summary: E-Trade Financial

Slipping 1.4%, HCP (NYSE:HCP) is currently trading at $44.70 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 675,493 shares. This is 0.4 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 estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. The debt ratio is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. HCP's debt ratio of 46.6% is on the low side. In other words, the company is less sensitive to changes in business or interest rates since less of its cash flow is dedicated to paying off loan expenses. 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.

Marriott Vacations (NYSE:VAC) has moved up 1.2% and is currently trading at $31.47 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 72,022 shares, consistent with its current daily 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 is a measurement of how much suppliers, lenders, creditors and obligors have committed to the company versus what the shareholders have committed. The D/E ratio for VAC is 62%. The D/E ratio is not a pure measurement of a company's debt because it includes operational liabilities in total liabilities.

Camden (NYSE:CPT) has increased to a share price of $69.72, a 1.1% rise. So far today, 212,149 shares have changed hands. 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. 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 capitalization ratio is calculated by dividing long-term debt by the sum of long-term debt and shareholders' equity. CPT has a capitalization ratio of 50%. A low level of debt and a healthy proportion of equity in a company's capital structure is an indication of financial fitness.

Health Care REIT (NYSE:HCN) has fallen 1% and is currently trading at $57.55 per share. The company's volume is currently 957,828 shares for the day, lighter than yesterday's volume of 4.7 million shares. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. Dividend yield measures the income that a stock will generate for an investor. HCN's dividend yield is 5.1%. It is important to remember that while a higher dividend yield is more attractive, all else being equal, a higher dividend yield can also indicate greater perceived risk. SEE: Guide To Stock-Picking Strategies: Income Investing

Rising 0.9%, Howard (NYSE:HHC) is currently trading at $65.41 per share. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 15,505 shares. This is 0.2 times the current three-month average. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. 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 HHC is 1.11, indicating that the stock is trading for more than its book value. This high share price relative to asset value is likely to indicate that the company has been earning a very high return on its assets. To put things in perspective, should be made among companies in the same industry rather than across industries. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW) is currently trading at a share price of $32.82, a 0.9% decline. The company's volume is currently 230,597 shares for the day, 0.3 times the current daily average. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. 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 price/earnings ratio is calculated by taking a stock price and dividing it by the earnings-per-share (EPS). Compared to the industry average of 14.24, HIW's P/E ratio of 49.7 is quite high. A company with a high P/E ratio will eventually have to live up to the high rating by substantially increasing its earnings, or the price will need to drop. High P/E stocks could be "growth" stocks, while low PE stocks may be "value" stocks. SEE: Understanding The P/E Ratio

Increasing 0.8%, Zillow (Nasdaq:Z) is trading at $38.25 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 178,223 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/sales ratio measures a company's stock market value by its total revenues or alternatively, a company's price per share by its revenue per share. The P/S ratio for Z is 12.58, which is relatively high. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. All things being equal, a low P/S ratio is good news for investors, while a very high one can be a warning sign.

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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