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Tickers in this Article: ALOG, CRUS, IIJI, MELI, BIDU, RP, LNKD
The market is currently up, with the Nasdaq increasing 1.1%, the S&P 500 moving up 0.6% and the Dow rising 0.4%. The technology sector is a category of stocks relating to the research, development and/or distribution of technologically based goods and services. This sector contains businesses revolving around the manufacturing of electronics, creation of software, computers or products and services relating to information technology. The technology sector offers a wide arrange of products and services for both customers and other businesses. Consumer goods like personal computers, stereos and televisions are continually improved and upgraded, offering the latest technology to all users. Businesses receive information and services from software and database systems, which allow the companies to make strategic business decisions.

The Technology sector (XLK) is up 0.7%, underperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector are currently:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Analogic (Nasdaq:ALOG)$847 million+12.5%
Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq:CRUS)$2.7 billion+7.2%
Internet Initiative Japan Inc (Nasdaq:IIJI)$1.02 billion-5.9%
Mercadolibre (Nasdaq:MELI)$3.73 billion+5.4%
Baidu (Nasdaq:BIDU)$38.37 billion+5.1%
RealPage (Nasdaq:RP)$1.92 billion-4.2%
Linkedin (NYSE:LNKD)$12.63 billion+3.1%
Broker Summary: TD Ameritrade Thinkorswim

Analogic (Nasdaq:ALOG) rose a significant 12.5% to reach $77.84 per share. This morning, the company is trading a volume of 616,600 shares. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. 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. Perhaps one of the most widely-used stock analysis tools is the price-to-earnings ratio, or P/E. The P/E ratio for ALOG is 23.3, below the industry average of 28.0. Companies with low P/E ratios may find it easier to surprise the market to the upside, even if their financial performance is not as strong as that of companies with high P/E ratios. A high P/E ratio indicates a stock that is expensive, while a low P/E ratio indicates a stock that is cheap. SEE: How To Use The P/E Ratio And PEG To Tell The Future Of A Stock

Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq:CRUS) has risen 7.2% to hit a current price of $44.80 per share. At 2.3 million shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.9 times its current three-month average. If a stock price moves on high volume, this means that the change is a significant one. Investors can use valuation ratios as tools to estimate what kind of deal a particular investment is. The price/sales ratio measures a company's stock market value by its total revenues or alternatively, a company's price per share by its revenue per share. CRUS has a high P/S ratio of 4.45. This could be a good sign if the share price increases. All things being equal, a low P/S ratio is good news for investors, while a very high one can be a warning sign.

Internet Initiative Japan Inc (Nasdaq:IIJI) is trading at $11.67 per share, down 5.9%. So far today, 6,051 shares of the company's stock have changed hands. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock 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. The easy-to-calculate debt ratio is helpful to investors looking for a quick take on the leverage for a company. IIJI's debt ratio is 54.8%. However, one thing to note with this ratio: it isn't a pure measure of a company's debt (or indebtedness), as it also includes operational liabilities, such as accounts payable and taxes payable.

Mercadolibre (Nasdaq:MELI) is currently trading at $89.08 per share, a 5.4% increase. The company's volume is currently 454,253 shares for the day, 1.2 times the average daily volume. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. 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. 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. MELI has a fairly low capitalization ratio of 1.6%. A low capitalization ratio can signify a failure to leverage equity into investment, missing valuable opportunities for growth and expansion. A low level of debt and a healthy proportion of equity in a company's capital structure is an indication of financial fitness.

Increasing 5.1%, Baidu (Nasdaq:BIDU) is trading at $115.40 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 5.3 million shares. 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. 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/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio compares a company's P/E ratio to its earnings-per-share growth rate, which tells you whether or not you are getting a good value when purchasing a stock with a high price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio). PEG ratio for BIDU is 0.93. 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.

RealPage (Nasdaq:RP) is down 4.2% to reach $24.93 per share. The company's volume is currently 799,971 shares for the day, 2.8 times the average volume over the last three months. 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. 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. If the price/book value ratio of a stock is high, it may indicate that the stock is expensive, while a lower ratio may indicate that the stock is a bargain. RP's P/B ratio of 7.91 shows that its share price is higher than its book value. It is important to take the company's debt into account when using the P/B ratio as debt can boost a company's liabilities to the point where they wipe out much of the book value of its hard assets, creating artificially high P/B values. 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

Linkedin (NYSE:LNKD) has risen 3.1% and is currently trading at $123.18 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 1.5 million shares. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. The price/sales ratio is used for spotting recovery situations or for double-checking that a company's growth has not become overvalued. LNKD's P/S ratio of 15.16 is on the high side. 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 compare P/S ratios for companies in the same industry, as ratios can vary quite widely for companies in different industries.

The Bottom Line No matter the economic climate, Wall Street will always have stocks that make major moves each week. It is important to weigh current activity against historical performance when making any investment decisions. However, these fundamental metrics must be analyzed with historic data, industry information in addition to firm specific financial statements.

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