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Tickers in this Article: RDEN, THS, MNST, SMBL, DF, IPAR, NUS
The market is having a bad day so far: the Nasdaq has slipped 0.1%; the S&P 500 is down 0.2%; and the Dow is trading down 0.2%.

The Consumer/Non-Cyclical sector (XLP) is down 0.5%, underperforming the market overall. The current biggest movers in the sector are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Elizabeth Arden, Inc. (Nasdaq:RDEN)$1.14 billion+13.5%
TreeHouse Foods Inc. (NYSE:THS)$1.83 billion-7.5%
Monster Beverage Corp (Nasdaq:MNST)$11.94 billion-7.4%
Smart Balance, Inc. (Nasdaq:SMBL)$655.9 million+5.9%
Dean Foods (NYSE:DF)$3.22 billion-4.5%
Inter Parfums, Inc. (Nasdaq:IPAR)$522.9 million+4%
Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:NUS)$2.65 billion+3.8%
Beginner's Guide To

Elizabeth Arden (Nasdaq:RDEN) is currently at $44.23 per share after a dramatic increase of 13.5%. With 826,124 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 6.4 times its current three-month average. 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 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 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 RDEN is 34.1%. Prudent use of leverage (debt) increases the financial resources available to a company for growth and expansion.

TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS) has fallen 7.5% and is currently trading at $46.97 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 1.4 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. When used consistently and uniformly, the price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio is an essential tool that adds dimension to the price/earnings ratio, allows comparisons across diverse industries and is always on the lookout for value. THS' PEG ratio is 1.79. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

Slipping 7.4%, Monster (Nasdaq:MNST) is currently trading at $62.78 per share. The company's volume is currently 6.7 million shares for the day, 4.2 times the average daily volume. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. 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. 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. MNST has a P/B ratio of 10.36 which 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: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

Smart Balance (Nasdaq:SMBL) has moved up 5.9% and is currently trading at $11.73 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 546,712 shares. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. Valuation ratios include 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 SMBL is a high 1.78. In young companies, a high P/S ratio is a sign of sales growth that is expected to turn into earnings and cash flow. All things being equal, a low P/S ratio is good news for investors, while a very high one can be a warning sign.

Slipping 4.5%, Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) is currently trading at $16.68 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 6.2 million shares, 0.9 times its average over the past three months. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. The debt ratio gives users a quick measure of the amount of debt that the company has on its balance sheets compared to its assets. DF has a high debt ratio of 100.9%. This means that the company's cash flow is significantly impacted by paying off principal and interest and that any negative change in performance or rise in interest rates could result in default. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

After an increase of 4%, Inter Parfums (Nasdaq:IPAR) has reached a current price of $17.80. So far today, 21,356 shares of the company's stock have changed hands. This is greater than yesterday's volume of 19,807 shares. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. 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. Price/earnings ratios (P/E ratios) provide a measure of the relative value of a stock. The P/E ratio for IPAR is 15.1, below the industry average of 18.27. A low P/E ratio may indicate that the market expects relatively slower earnings growth. A high P/E ratio indicates a stock that is expensive, while a low P/E ratio indicates a stock that is cheap. SEE: How To Find P/E And PEG Ratios

Rising 3.8%, Nu Skin Enterprises (NYSE:NUS) is currently trading at $43.54 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 1.7 million shares, consistent with its current daily average. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. 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. NUS has a debt-equity ratio of 39%, which is on the low side. A low D/E ratio may be a sign that the company is not taking advantage of leverage to increase its profits. This easy-to-calculate ratio provides a general indication of a company's equity-liability relationship and is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on a company's leverage.

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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