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Tickers in this Article: TSO, DK, SDT, ALJ, IOC, CWEI, WLL
The market is having a bad day so far. The Nasdaq has fallen 0.3%; the S&P 500 has slipped 0.4%; and the Dow has declined 0.5%.

The Oil and Gas Operations sector (DIG) is currently lagging behind the overall market, down 1.3%, and its current biggest movers are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Tesoro (NYSE:TSO).96 billion+8.6%
Delek US Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:DK).35 billion+4.1%
Sandridge Mississippian Trust I (NYSE:SDT)5.5 million-3.7%
Alon USA Energy, Inc. (NYSE:ALJ)9 million+3.4%
InterOil Corporation (USA) (NYSE:IOC).38 billion-2.7%
Clayton Williams Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq:CWEI)9.6 million-2.6%
Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:WLL).34 billion-2.3%
Forex Broker Summary: Forex Capital Markets (FXCM)

After an increase of 8.6%, Tesoro (NYSE:TSO) has reached a current price of $38.55. The company's volume for the day so far is 8.2 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. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. The dividend yield is measured by taking the annual dividends per share and dividing that number by the stock price. The dividend yield for TSO is 0.6%, which is on the low end. If you are an income investor, this stock may not be attractive to you. 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

Delek US Holdings (NYSE:DK) is currently trading at $23.94 per share, a 4.1% increase. The company's volume is currently 746,631 shares for the day, one times its average over the past three months. 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 provide investors with an estimation, albeit a simplistic one, of the value of a stock. 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. DK has a low capitalization ratio of 4.3%. 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.

Sandridge Mississippian Trust (NYSE:SDT) is trading at $26.33 per share, down 3.7%. The company is trading at a volume of 144,657 shares. This is a sign that there will be less trading activity than there was yesterday. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. 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. 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. SDT has a P/E ratio of 15.2, high compared to the industry average of 10.23. Generally speaking, the higher the P/E ratio, the higher the market expectations for a company's future performance. From the investor's perspective, a stock with a lower ratio is relatively cheaper than a stock with a higher ratio. SEE: How To Find P/E And PEG Ratios

Alon USA Energy (NYSE:ALJ) has risen 3.4% and is currently trading at $11.68 per share. At 135,494 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.4 times its current daily average. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. 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 is calculated by dividing the current stock price by the company's book value per share. The P/B ratio for ALJ is 2.21, indicating that the stock is trading for more 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. One problem with the P/B value ratio is that it can be difficult to calculate the true book value of a company, so investors should be aware that many measures of book value may provide only a rough estimate, and should be taken with a grain of salt. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

InterOil Corporation (NYSE:IOC) has fallen 2.7% and is currently trading at $88.52 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 288,563 shares. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. 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. A price/sales ratio is derived by dividing stock market price by company sales. The P/S ratio for IOC is 2.04, which is relatively high. 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.

After a decline of 2.6%, Clayton Williams Energy (Nasdaq:CWEI) has hit a share price of $44.83. With 24,317 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.3 times the current three-month 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. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. 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. The debt ratio for CWEI is 74.2%, which is relatively high. 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.

Whiting (NYSE:WLL) is currently trading at a share price of $44.39, a 2.3% decline. The company's volume is currently 314,698 shares. This is a sign that there will be less trading activity than there was yesterday. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock 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. A company's capitalization (not to be confused with its market capitalization) is the term used to describe the makeup of a company's permanent or long-term capital, which consists of both long-term debt and shareholders' equity. The capitalization ratio for WLL is 30.3%. A low level of debt and a healthy proportion of equity in a company's capital structure is an indication of financial fitness.

The Bottom Line The nature of the market is such that stocks will have good days and bad days. 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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