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Tickers in this Article: Z, WPC, HPT, PSA, AVB, HST, BRE
After the morning's trading, the Nasdaq has fallen 0.6%, the S&P 500 has moved little and the Dow has increased 0.1%.

The biggest movers in the Real Estate Operations sector (IYR) (+0.7%) are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Zillow (Nasdaq:Z)$1.25 billion-4.1%
W. P (NYSE:WPC)$1.8 billion-2.2%
Hospitality (NYSE:HPT)$2.99 billion+1.9%
Public Storage (NYSE:PSA)$25.19 billion-1.6%
Avalonbay (NYSE:AVB)$13.99 billion-1.6%
Host Hotels & Resorts (NYSE:HST)$11.78 billion+1.4%
BRE Properties (NYSE:BRE)$3.89 billion-1.4%
Beginner's Guide To

Currently trading at $40.90 per share, Zillow (Nasdaq:Z) has fallen 4.1%. The company is trading at a volume of 932,675 shares. This is on pace to fall short of yesterday's volume of 4.8 million shares. 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. The price/book value ratio is one of the more common methods of determining whether a stock is fairly valued. Z has a P/B ratio of 10.62 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. A weakness of the P/B value ratio is that while the price component is easily determined by looking at the stock quote, the book value component is more difficult to estimate and more open to individual interpretation and analysis. SEE: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Book Value Ratio

W. P (NYSE:WPC) is down 2.2% to reach $43.67 per share. The company's volume is currently 38,221 shares for the day, 1.1 times the current three-month average. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. The dividend yield is measured by taking the annual dividends per share and dividing that number by the stock price. Dividend yield for WPC is 5.1%. High dividend yields are generally more important to value investors, investors in larger companies, and income oriented investors than they are to growth investors, investors in small cap stocks, and investors in new or emerging companies. SEE: Guide To Stock-Picking Strategies: Income Investing

Hospitality (NYSE:HPT) is at $24.64 per share after an increase of 1.9%. So far today, the company's volume is 230,267 shares. 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. 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 price/sales ratio is derived by dividing stock market price by company sales. HPT has a high P/S ratio of 2.43. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. 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.

Public Storage (NYSE:PSA) is trading at $144.43 per share, down 1.6%. At 283,108 shares, the company's volume so far today is consistent with its current daily average. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. 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 debt ratio is calculated by dividing total liabilities by total assets. PSA has a debt ratio of 11.3%, which is fairly low. A low debt ratio means the company has more available cash flow. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

Slipping 1.6%, Avalonbay (NYSE:AVB) is currently trading at $142.11 per share. So far today, 237,729 shares of the company's stock have changed hands. 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. 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. PEG ratio for AVB is consistent with the industry average at 2.23. Because of the adjustment for earnings growth rate, the PEG ratio is somewhat more useful than many formulas for comparing companies in different industries.

Host Hotels & Resorts (NYSE:HST) is up 1.4% to reach a current price of $16.53 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 2.7 million shares, consistent with its current three-month average. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock 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. 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. HST's P/E ratio of 181.1 is above the industry average of 14.68. 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. High P/E stocks could be "growth" stocks, while low PE stocks may be "value" stocks. SEE: The P/E Ratio: A Good Market-Timing Indicator

Falling 1.4%, BRE Properties (NYSE:BRE) is currently at a share price of $49.95. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 122,162 shares. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. 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. 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 BRE is 50.5%, which is fairly high. A high capitalization ratio is not necessarily bad since higher financial leverage can increase the return on a shareholder's investment. 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. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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