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Tickers in this Article: DDD, CACI, SAP, AYI, CRM, EPAM, BSFT
On a good day for the market, the Nasdaq has increased 0.8%, the S&P 500 has moved up 0.8% and the Dow is trading up 0.9%. 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 0.9%, outperforming the market overall. The biggest movers in the sector so far are:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
3D (NYSE:DDD).35 billion+3.7%
CACI International (NYSE:CACI).18 billion+2.7%
SAP (NYSE:SAP).24 billion+2.6%
Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI).66 billion+2.4%
Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM).04 billion+2.2%
EPAM Systems (NYSE:EPAM)5 million-2%
BroadSoft (Nasdaq:BSFT).01 billion-1.9%
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3D (NYSE:DDD) has risen 3.7% to hit a current price of $44.00 per share. The company's volume for the day so far is 500,084 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. When estimating the value of a particular investment, valuation ratios provide a good basis for assessing the value of an individual stock. Price/earnings ratios (P/E ratios) provide a measure of the relative value of a stock. DDD has a P/E ratio of 73.1, high compared to the industry average of 22.07. This could mean that the market is expecting big things over the next few months or years. 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: Profit With The Power Of Price-To-Earnings

After an increase of 2.7%, CACI International (NYSE:CACI) has reached a current price of $53.46. At 153,050 shares, the company's volume so far today is consistent with its current daily average. When a stock price moves up or down, watching the volume is a good way of identifying how significant that shift is. In making a decision about a potential or existing investment, valuation ratios are useful as a basis for seeing whether the stock price is too high, reasonable, or a bargain. The price/earnings to growth (PEG) ratio divides a company's P/E ratio by its growth rate of earnings-per-share. CACI has a PEG ratio of 0.77. 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.

Rising 2.6%, SAP (NYSE:SAP) is currently trading at $65.73 per share. So far today, 658,423 shares of the company's stock have changed hands. 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. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. 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. SAP's stock is trading for more than its book value with a P/B ratio of 4.83. This may be a sign that the company is overvalued. All else being equal, a stock with a low P/B value ratio is more attractive than a stock with a high ratio. SEE: How Buybacks Warps The Price-To-Book Ratio

After rising 2.4%, Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) is currently trading at a share price of $64.25. With 60,688 shares changing hands so far today, the company's volume is 0.3 times its 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. Investment valuation ratios can be very useful in estimating whether a stock price is too high, reasonable or a bargain investment opportunity. The dividend yield is calculated by dividing a company's dividends per share by its stock price. AYI has a dividend yield of 0.8%, which is fairly low. A company with a low dividend yield may be a safer investment in the long run. It is important to remember that dividends are only one component of a stock's return and capital appreciation (or decline) must also be considered when evaluating a security. SEE: Guide To Stock-Picking Strategies: Income Investing

Increasing 2.2%, Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) is trading at $145.90 per share. The company is currently trading a volume of 920,336 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. In a nutshell, the price/sales ratio shows how much Wall Street values every dollar of the company's sales. The P/S ratio for CRM is a high 6.49. 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.

Falling 2%, EPAM Systems (NYSE:EPAM) is currently at a share price of $17.52. So far today, the company's volume is 22,709 shares, zero times its current daily average. The trading volume for a stock indicates the level of investor interest. 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 debt ratio measures the leverage of a company, and a company's leverage is a good way to assess risk. EPAM has a debt ratio of 15.8%, which is fairly low. In other words, the company is less sensitive to changes in business or interest rates since less of its cash flow is dedicated to paying off loan expenses. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

At $36, BroadSoft (Nasdaq:BSFT) has slipped 1.9%. So far today, the company's volume is 228,444 shares. A stock's volume conveys how excited investors are about it. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio is a leverage ratio. The D/E ratio for BSFT is 59%. The D/E ratio is not a pure measurement of a company's debt because it includes operational liabilities in total liabilities.

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