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Tickers in this Article: TSEM, SPRD, EZCH, FSLR, POWI, MTSI, COHR
Currently, the Nasdaq has moved up 0.2%, the S&P 500 has moved little and the Dow remains relatively unchanged.

The Semiconductors sector (XLK) is unchanged so far today and here are its biggest movers:
CompanyMarket CapPercentage Change
Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (USA) (Nasdaq:TSEM)$2.53 billion-5.2%
Spreadtrum Communications, Inc (ADR) (Nasdaq:SPRD)$812.1 million+5.2%
EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. (Nasdaq:EZCH)$790.9 million+3.3%
First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR)$1.74 billion+2.8%
Power Integrations, Inc. (Nasdaq:POWI)$969.6 million+2.8%
M\x2FA-COM Technology Solutions Holdings (Nasdaq:MTSI)$539.5 million-2.7%
Coherent, Inc. (Nasdaq:COHR)$1.11 billion+2.2%
Broker Summary: E-Trade Financial

Tower Semiconductor Ltd (Nasdaq:TSEM) has decreased to $7.44 per share, a 5.2% fall. The company's volume is currently 35,668 shares for the day, 0.7 times the current three-month average. In technical analysis, trading volume is used to determine the strength of a market indicator. Valuation ratios allow the investor to make a quick determination as to a company's investment value. The price/sales ratio is used for spotting recovery situations or for double-checking that a company's growth has not become overvalued. TSEM has a P/S ratio of 0.32, on the low end. The lower the P/S ratio, the more reasonably price the stock, all else being equal. 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.

Spreadtrum Communications, Inc (Nasdaq:SPRD) is at $18.17 per share after an increase of 5.2%. So far today, 410,986 shares of the company's stock have changed hands. At this rate, trading activity will likely be down from yesterday when one million shares changed hands. Volume is also used as a secondary indicator to help confirm what the price movement is suggesting. 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 debt ratio measures the leverage of a company, and a company's leverage is a good way to assess risk. SPRD has a debt ratio of 51.5%. As with all financial ratios, a company's debt ratio should be compared with the industry average or similar companies.

EZchip (Nasdaq:EZCH) has risen 3.3% and is currently trading at $29.18 per share. So far today, the company's volume is 139,325 shares, 0.1 times its current daily average. Volume indicates the level of interest that investors have in a company at its current price. 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 price/book value ratio is calculated by dividing the current stock price by the company's book value per share. EZCH's P/B ratio of 3.14 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. 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

First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) is up 2.8% to reach a current price of $20.60 per share. So far today, 1.9 million shares have changed hands. 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. In a nutshell, the price/sales ratio shows how much Wall Street values every dollar of the company's sales. FSLR's P/S ratio of 0.42 is fairly low. Low P/S ratios can indicate unrecognized value potential - so long as other criteria like high profit margins, low debt levels and growth prospects are in place. A limitation of the P/S ratio is that the price component measures only stock market captialization, while sales are a function of the entire capital structure, potentially leading to wide differences between levered and unlevered companies.

After an increase of 2.8%, Power Integrations (Nasdaq:POWI) has reached a current price of $34.57. At 98,048 shares, the company's volume so far today is 0.2 times its current three-month average. If a stock price makes a big move up or down, volume lets us know the significance of that move. Investors can make use of valuation ratios to estimate whether a stock is fairly valued. The debt ratio shows the proportion of assets that a company is financing through debt. POWI has a low debt ratio of 19.5%. This indicates that the company engages in conservative financing with opportunities to borrow in the future at no significant risk. 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.

Currently trading at $11.58 per share, M\x2FA-COM Technology Solutions (Nasdaq:MTSI) has fallen 2.7%. The company's volume is currently 12,420 shares. High volume indicates a lot of investor interest while low volume indicates the opposite. Looking at a company's valuation ratios is a good way of getting a basic idea as to its value as an investment. The debt-equity (D/E) ratio is a measurement of how much suppliers, lenders, creditors and obligors have committed to the company versus what the shareholders have committed. MTSI's debt-equity ratio of 47% is on the low end. A low D/E ratio may be a sign that the company is not taking advantage of leverage to increase its profits. The D/E ratio is not a pure measurement of a company's debt because it includes operational liabilities in total liabilities.

After rising 2.2%, Coherent (Nasdaq:COHR) is currently trading at a share price of $47.71. At 31,118 shares, the company's volume so far today is consistent with its current daily average. Volume is used to evaluate how meaningful the price movement of a stock is. Understanding investment valuation ratios allows an investor to assess the true value of an individual stock. The price/book value ratio provides a way of evaluating whether a stock is relatively cheap or expensive. The P/B ratio for COHR is 1.74, 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. P/B has its shortcomings but is still widely used as a valuation metric, more relevant for use by investors looking at capital-intensive or finance-related businesses, such as banks; book value does not carry much meaning for service-based firms with few tangible assets. SEE: Using The Price-To-Book Ratio To Evaluate Companies

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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