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Tickers in this Article: HK, COG, QEP, TSO, RRMS, IOC, EVEP
On a good day for the market, the Nasdaq is up 0.1%, the S&P 500 has increased 0.3% and the Dow has climbed 0.4%.

The Oil and Gas Operations sector (DIG) is up 1.3%, outperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Halcon (NYSE:HK)$1.81 billion-8%
Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG)$9.35 billion+3.4%
QEP Resources (NYSE:QEP)$5.45 billion+2.8%
Tesoro (NYSE:TSO)$5.64 billion+2.8%
Rose Rock (NYSE:RRMS)$526.9 million-2.6%
InterOil Corporation (NYSE:IOC)$3.84 billion+2.4%
EV Energy Partners (Nasdaq:EVEP)$2.72 billion-2%
Software Summary: Stock Screener

At $7.87, Halcon (NYSE:HK) has slipped 8%. The company's volume is currently four million shares for the day, whereas yesterday, volume was only 2.1 million shares. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. 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/book value ratio is especially important for value investors as it can provide an indication of the true value of a company's assets at a time when its business model may be failing. HK's P/B ratio of 2.45 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. All else being equal, a stock with a low P/B value ratio is more attractive than a stock with a high ratio. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

Increasing 3.4%, Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG) is trading at $46.03 per share. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 1.6 million shares. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. The dividend yield is measured by taking the annual dividends per share and dividing that number by the stock price. COG's dividend yield of 0.2% is fairly low. A company with a low dividend yield may be a safer investment in the long run. Simply comparing the level of dividends that two stocks pay does not give a true reflection of which security is more attractive, so investors calculate the dividend yield in order to standardize dividend payments. SEE: Dividend Yield For The Downturn

QEP Resources (NYSE:QEP) has moved up 2.8% and is currently trading at $31.52 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 1.1 million shares, 0.7 times its average over the past three months. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. Investment valuation ratios provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. The price/sales ratio measures a company's stock market price by its revenues. QEP has a high P/S ratio of 1.85. In young companies, a high P/S ratio is a sign of sales growth that is expected to turn into earnings and cash flow. A limitation of the P/S ratio is that the price component measures only stock market captialization, while sales are a function of the entire capital structure, potentially leading to wide differences between levered and unlevered companies.

After an increase of 2.8%, Tesoro (NYSE:TSO) has reached a current price of $41.43. The company's volume for the morning is 1.4 million shares. This is consistent with its current daily average. 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. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. The easy-to-calculate debt ratio is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on the leverage for a company. TSO's debt ratio of 60.5% is fairly high. This means that most of the company's assets are financed through debt. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Rose Rock (NYSE:RRMS) is down 2.6% to reach $30.58 per share. This morning, 3,601 shares have been traded, lighter than yesterday's volume of 13,616 shares. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. A simple P/E ratio can reveal the stock's real market value and show how the valuation compares to its industry group or a benchmark like the S&P 500 Index. RRMS' P/E ratio of 38.8 is above the industry average of 24.41. 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. 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: Can Investors Trust the P/E Ratio?

InterOil Corporation (NYSE:IOC) has risen 2.4% and is currently trading at $81.40 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 182,487 shares. Volume is an important indicator because it indicates how significant a price shift is. 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. IOC has a fairly low capitalization ratio of 10.7%. Low leverage is a significant balance sheet strength, a sign of a less risky investment. Prudent use of leverage (debt) increases the financial resources available to a company for growth and expansion.

EV Energy Partners (Nasdaq:EVEP) is down 2% to reach $63.05 per share. At 79,462 shares, the company's volume so far today is in keeping with its current three-month average. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. 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. EVEP has a D/E ratio of 63%. The D/E ratio percentage provides a much more dramatic perspective on a company's leverage position than the debt ratio percentage.

The Bottom Line On any given day, a particular stock may see positive or negative change in its share price. 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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