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Tickers in this Article: BRY, TSO, LPI, HFC, TLM, IOC, SM
The market is having a bad day so far. The Nasdaq is down 0.2%; the S&P 500 has fallen 0.5%; and the Dow has decreased 0.6%.

The Oil and Gas Operations sector (DIG) is down 1.6%, underperforming the market overall. The current biggest movers in the sector are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Berry Petroleum Company (NYSE:BRY)$2.09 billion-4.9%
Tesoro (NYSE:TSO)$3.84 billion-3.4%
Laredo Petroleum Holdings Inc (NYSE:LPI)$2.82 billion+2.9%
HollyFrontier Corp (NYSE:HFC)$7.35 billion-2.5%
Talisman Energy Inc. (USA) (NYSE:TLM)$11.95 billion+2.4%
InterOil Corporation (USA) (NYSE:IOC)$3.68 billion+2.4%
SM Energy Co. (NYSE:SM)$3.24 billion-2.4%
Broker Summary: TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim

Slipping 4.9%, Berry Petroleum (NYSE:BRY) is currently trading at $36.71 per share. The company's volume is currently 583,175 shares for the day, 0.9 times its average over the past three months. 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. 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/sales ratio measures a company's stock market price by its revenues. The P/S ratio for BRY is a high 2.65. 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 keep in mind when looking at the P/S ratio that just because a company is generating revenues, this does not mean that the company is profitable, and in the long run, profits drive stock prices.

Tesoro (NYSE:TSO) has decreased to $26.45 per share, a 3.4% fall. So far today, the company's volume is 2.8 million shares. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. In making a decision about a potential or existing investment, valuation ratios are useful as a basis for seeing whether the stock price is too high, reasonable, or a bargain. The debt ratio is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. TSO has a high debt ratio of 62.3%. As such, the company is highly leveraged and not highly liquid. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Laredo Petroleum Holdings (NYSE:LPI) has moved up 2.9% and is currently trading at $22.65 per share. At 75,539 shares, the company's volume so far today is. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. 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 debt-equity (D/E) ratio compares the total liabilities for a company to its total shareholder equity. The D/E ratio for LPI is 99%. The D/E ratio percentage provides a much more dramatic perspective on a company's leverage position than the debt ratio percentage.

After a decline of 2.5%, HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC) has hit a share price of $34.65. The company's volume for the day so far is 851,699 shares. This is 0.3 times the average daily volume. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. The capitalization ratio is calculated by dividing long-term debt by the sum of long-term debt and shareholders' equity. HFC's capitalization ratio is 19.9%, 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. A low level of debt and a healthy proportion of equity in a company's capital structure is an indication of financial fitness.

After rising 2.4%, Talisman Energy Inc (NYSE:TLM) is currently trading at a share price of $11.86. So far today, the company's volume is five million shares, 0.8 times the current three-month average. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift 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. For investors primarily interested in the income a stock can generate, the dividend yield is an important determinant of how attractive a stock is. TLM's dividend yield is 2.3%. 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 2.4%, InterOil Corporation (NYSE:IOC) is currently trading at $78.18 per share. So far today, 181,971 shares have changed hands. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. The price/book value ratio provides a way of evaluating whether a stock is relatively cheap or expensive. IOC has a P/B ratio of 10.67 which shows that its share price is higher than its book value. This implies that investors expect management to create more value from a given set of assets and/or that the market value of the firm's assets is significantly higher than their accounting value. P/B has its shortcomings but is still widely used as a valuation metric, more relevant for use by investors looking at capital-intensive or finance-related businesses, such as banks; book value does not carry much meaning for service-based firms with few tangible assets. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

SM (NYSE:SM) is currently trading at a share price of $49.33, a 2.4% decline. This morning, 305,748 shares have been traded, lighter than yesterday's volume of 1.2 million shares. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. Perhaps one of the most widely-used stock analysis tools is the price-to-earnings ratio, or P/E. P/E ratio for SM is 13.7. A high or low P/E ratio is not good or bad in and of itself, but a company trading with a high P/E ratio must continue to post strong financial performance or its stock price is likely to fall. SEE: Understanding The P/E Ratio

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. Tools like valuation ratios and profit margins, however, are only as useful as the context you put them in; remember to take historical data and competitor performance into account.

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