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Dow Today: Home Depot (HD) Leads The Day Higher, Alcoa (AA) Lags

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading down 14.0 points (-0.1%) at 12,515 as of Friday, May 25, 2012, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 17.5 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 732.6 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,408 issues advancing vs. 1,174 declining with 192 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Home Depot (NYSE: HD), which is sporting a 28-cent gain (+0.6%) bringing the stock to $49.99. Volume for Home Depot currently sits at 411,069 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 10.2 million shares.

Home Depot has a market cap of $73.59 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are up 18.2% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.4%.

The Home Depot, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a home improvement retailer. The company's stores sell building materials, and home improvement and lawn and garden products to do-it-yourself, do-it-for-me (at D-I-F-M), and professional customers. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.6, above the average retail industry P/E ratio of 18.3 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Home Depot as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

Holding back the Dow today is Alcoa (NYSE: AA), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a seven-cent decline (-0.8%) bringing the stock to $8.56. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 0.53 points or roughly accounting for 3.8% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Alcoa currently sits at 550,623 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 24.7 million shares.

Alcoa has a market cap of $9.18 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. Shares are down 0.2% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.4%.

Alcoa, Inc. engages in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina. The company operates in four segments: Alumina, Primary Metals, Flat-Rolled Products, and Engineered Products and Solutions. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.3, below the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio of 23.9 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alcoa as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

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DOW 17,131.97 +100.83 0.59%
S&P 500 1,998.98 +14.85 0.75%
NASDAQ 4,552.7590 +33.8570 0.75%

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