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Tickers in this Article: JOBS, LINTA, LVLT, HMIN, BIG, JCP, FMCN
On a bad day for the market, the Nasdaq has fallen 0.2%, the S&P 500 has slipped 0.2% and the Dow has declined 0.2%.

The Services sector (IYC) is down 0.4%, underperforming the market overall. The current biggest movers in the sector are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
51job, Inc. (ADR) (Nasdaq:JOBS)$1.05 billion+13.3%
Liberty Interactive Corp (Nasdaq:LINTA)$9.71 billion-8%
Level three Communications, Inc. (NYSE:LVLT)$4.26 billion+6.5%
Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc. (ADR) (Nasdaq:HMIN)$961.1 million+5.7%
Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG)$2.63 billion-5.2%
JC Penney (NYSE:JCP)$4.68 billion+4.6%
Focus Media Holding Limited (ADR) (Nasdaq:FMCN)$2.81 billion+4%
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After a big jump of 13.3%, 51job, Inc (Nasdaq:JOBS) is trading at $41.30 per share. This morning, the company's volume is 162,357 shares. This is two times its current daily average. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. 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 debt ratio is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. JOBS has a debt ratio of 20.1%, which is fairly low. This indicates that the company engages in conservative financing with opportunities to borrow in the future at no significant risk. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Liberty (Nasdaq:LINTA) is down 8% to reach $17.34 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 3.4 million shares, lighter than yesterday's volume of 15.5 million shares. 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. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. As with most ratios, comparisons of company price/earnings to growth ratios (PEG ratios) are most appropriate for similar companies. LINTA's PEG ratio is 90.0. 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.

After rising 6.5%, Level three Communications (NYSE:LVLT) is currently trading at a share price of $21.50. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 1.4 million shares. 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 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. LVLT's P/B ratio of 3.85 shows that its share price is higher 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. 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: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc (Nasdaq:HMIN) is at $22.38 per share after an increase of 5.7%. The company's volume for the day so far is 268,280 shares, one times the current three-month average. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. 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. In a nutshell, the price/sales ratio shows how much Wall Street values every dollar of the company's sales. The P/S ratio for HMIN is a high 1.98. 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.

Big Lots, Inc (NYSE:BIG) has decreased to $39.16 per share, a 5.2% fall. The company's volume for the morning is 1.2 million shares. This is 1.5 times the average daily volume. 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. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. One of the most important estimates of stock market valuation is the price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio). Relative to the industry P/E ratio of 18.02, BIG's 14.5 is low. Companies with low P/E ratios may find it easier to surprise the market to the upside, even if their financial performance is not as strong as that of companies with high P/E ratios. 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: The P/E Ratio: A Good Market-Timing Indicator

JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) is currently trading at $23.11 per share, a 4.6% increase. The company's volume is currently 27.2 million shares for the day, above yesterday's volume of 12.9 million 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. 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. To a large degree, the debt-equity (D/E) ratio provides another vantage point on a company's leverage position, in this case, comparing total liabilities to shareholders' equity, as opposed to total assets in the debt ratio. JCP's D/E ratio is 79%. The D/E ratio is not a pure measurement of a company's debt because it includes operational liabilities in total liabilities.

Rising 4%, Focus Media Holding Limited (Nasdaq:FMCN) is currently trading at $22.61 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 942,243 shares. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. The capitalization ratio is calculated by dividing long-term debt by the sum of long-term debt and shareholders' equity. FMCN's capitalization ratio is 6.2%, which is relatively low. A very low capitalization ratio might be a sign that the company is stagnating and reducing the potential earnings for shareholders. The capitalization ratio is one of the more meaningful debt ratios because it focuses on the relationship of debt liabilities as a component of a company's total capital base, which is the capital raised by shareholders and lenders.

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. Paying close attention to the previous ratios will help you identify key times to adjust your strategy. 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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