The Nasdaq has climbed 0.2%, the S&P 500 has been relatively flat and the Dow has remained steady after the morning's trading.

These are the biggest movers in the Oil and Gas Operations sector (DIG) (+0.3%):

CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
InterOil Corporation (USA) (NYSE:IOC)$4.02 billion-6.8%
Matador Resources Co (NYSE:MTDR)$556.7 million-5.5%
Bill Barrett Corporation (NYSE:BBG)$1.06 billion+2.8%
Swift Energy Company (NYSE:SFY)$875.7 million+2.3%
Approach Resources Inc. (Nasdaq:AREX)$970.8 million+2.2%
Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE:OAS)$2.76 billion+2.2%
PDC Energy Inc (Nasdaq:PDCE)$812.7 million+2.1%
Broker Summary: Fidelity Online Brokerage

After a decline of 6.8%, InterOil Corporation (NYSE:IOC) has hit a share price of $77.71. The company's volume for the day so far is 1.1 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. 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. 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. The P/E ratio for IOC is 172.2, above the industry average of 37.53. This could mean that the market is expecting big things over the next few months or years. High P/E stocks could be "growth" stocks, while low PE stocks may be "value" stocks. SEE: How To Use The P/E Ratio And PEG To Tell The Future Of A Stock

Matador (NYSE:MTDR) is trading at $9.48 per share, down 5.5%. The company's volume is currently 369,375 shares for the day, 2.1 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. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. 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. MTDR's P/S ratio of 7.35 is on the high side. 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.

Increasing 2.8%, Bill (NYSE:BBG) is trading at $22.58 per share. The company is trading at a volume of 585,688 shares. This is on pace to reach yesterday's trading volume of 1.5 million shares. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. The easy-to-calculate debt ratio is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on the leverage for a company. The debt ratio for BBG is 58.2%. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Swift Energy (NYSE:SFY) is up 2.3% to reach a current price of $20.89 per share. At 173,656 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.2 times the current daily average. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. 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. The capitalization ratio for SFY is 41.5%. 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.

Approach Resources (Nasdaq:AREX) is currently trading at $29.59 per share, a 2.2% increase. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 138,831 shares. 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. 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/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. AREX's stock is trading for more than its book value with a P/B ratio of 2.07. This may be a sign that the company is overvalued. To put things in perspective, should be made among companies in the same industry rather than across industries. SEE: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

Rising 2.2%, Oasis Petroleum (NYSE:OAS) is currently trading at $30.25 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 333,530 shares, 0.3 times the current three-month average. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. 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/earnings ratio is calculated by taking a stock price and dividing it by the earnings-per-share (EPS). OAS is in line with the industry average with a P/E ratio of 18.3. 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: Can Investors Trust the P/E Ratio?

PDC Energy (Nasdaq:PDCE) is at $27.43 per share after an increase of 2.1%. The company's volume for the day so far is 222,303 shares. This is on pace to reach yesterday's trading volume of 494,514 shares. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. 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. The price/sales ratio measures a company's stock market price by its revenues. The P/S ratio for PDCE is a high 2.0. 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.

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. It is important to weigh current activity against historical performance when making any investment decisions. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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Tickers in this Article: IOC, MTDR, BBG, SFY, AREX, OAS, PDCE

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