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Tickers in this Article: FOR, JOE, CBG, BFS, FSRV, JLL, SLG
The market is having a good day so far: the Nasdaq has climbed 0.1%; the S&P 500 has moved up 0.3%; and the Dow is up 0.4%.

The Real Estate Operations sector (IYR) is up 0.3%, outperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Forestar Group (NYSE:FOR)$551.1 million+3.6%
St. Joe (NYSE:JOE)$1.89 billion+2.2%
CBRE Group (NYSE:CBG)$5.79 billion+2.2%
Saul Centers (NYSE:BFS)$870 million+1.8%
FirstService Corporation (Nasdaq:FSRV)$819.2 million-1.5%
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL)$3.3 billion+1.2%
SL Green (NYSE:SLG)$7.36 billion+1.2%
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Forestar Group (NYSE:FOR) is at $16.46 per share after an increase of 3.6%. So far today, the company's volume is 33,360 shares. This is on pace to reach yesterday's trading volume of 76,956 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. 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 P/E ratio has been used for ages by analysts and still remains one of the most relevant pieces of stock valuation. P/E ratio for FOR is 33.1. 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: Investment Valuation Ratios: Price/Earnings Ratio

St. Joe (NYSE:JOE) is currently trading at $20.96 per share, a 2.2% increase. The company's volume for the day so far is 192,062 shares, consistent with its current three-month average. 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. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. The debt ratio measures the leverage of a company, and a company's leverage is a good way to assess risk. JOE has a debt ratio of 18.3%, which is fairly low. This indicates that the company engages in conservative financing with opportunities to borrow in the future at no significant risk. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

CBRE Group (NYSE:CBG) is up 2.2% to reach a current price of $18.05 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 1.1 million shares. 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. The price/book value ratio provides a way of evaluating whether a stock is relatively cheap or expensive. The P/B ratio for CBG is 4.72, indicating that the stock is trading for more 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. 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: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

After an increase of 1.8%, Saul Centers (NYSE:BFS) has reached a current price of $44.74. So far today, the company's volume is 16,632 shares, 0.2 times the average daily volume. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. 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. BFS' capitalization ratio of 76.5% is relatively high. The company may have trouble meeting operating and debt liabilities on time and surviving adverse economic conditions. 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.

Slipping 1.5%, FirstService Corporation (Nasdaq:FSRV) is currently trading at $28.11 per share. So far today, 29,225 shares of the company's stock have changed hands. Yesterday, volume was only 6,769 shares. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. 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. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio compares the total liabilities for a company to its total shareholder equity. FSRV's D/E ratio of 456% is on the high side. Generally, a high D/E ratio means that the company may have difficulty generating enough cash to pay off its debts. The D/E ratio is not a pure measurement of a company's debt because it includes operational liabilities in total liabilities.

Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) has risen 1.2% and is currently trading at $75.76 per share. At 39,762 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.2 times its current three-month average. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. 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. The price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio can reveal value what price/earnings (P/E) ratios alone may not so that if a company has a high P/E ratio (an indication that its stock is overpriced) but its earnings are growing very quickly, the PEG ratio may reveal that the company is actually fairly valued, or perhaps even a bargain. PEG ratio for JLL is 1.1. While P/E ratios are important indicators of market value, a high P/E in and of itself is not bad because it may indicate a company whose earnings are growing very rapidly, so many investors look at the PEG ratio in order to get an idea of whether or not a particular P/E ratio is justified by underlying earnings growth.

SL Green (NYSE:SLG) has increased to a share price of $82.64, a 1.2% rise. So far today, 95,751 shares have changed hands. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. It is important for an investor to estimate the value of any potential or existing investment; valuation ratios make this easier. In a nutshell, the price/sales ratio shows how much Wall Street values every dollar of the company's sales. SLG has a high P/S ratio of 3.82. 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.

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. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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