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Dow Today: Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) Leads The Day Higher, McDonald's Corporation (MCD) Lags

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading down 24.0 points (-0.2%) at 13,144 as of Wednesday, Aug 8, 2012, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 24.8 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 671.4 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 983 issues advancing vs. 1,620 declining with 176 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), which is sporting a 73-cent gain (+3.9%) bringing the stock to $19.69. Volume for Hewlett-Packard currently sits at 3.9 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 19.4 million shares.

Hewlett-Packard has a market cap of $36.85 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer hardware industry. Shares are down 26.4% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.8%.

Hewlett-Packard Company and its subsidiaries provide products, technologies, software, solutions, and services to individual consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as well as to the government, health, and education sectors worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.1, equal to the average computer hardware industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hewlett-Packard as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its attractive valuation levels, considering its current price compared to earnings, book value and other measures. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Holding back the Dow today is McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a $2.71 decline (-3%) bringing the stock to $86.30. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 20.51 points or roughly accounting for 85.5% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for McDonald's Corporation currently sits at 1.8 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 6.3 million shares.

McDonald's Corporation has a market cap of $91.15 billion and is part of the services sector and leisure industry. Shares are down 10.6% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.1%.

McDonald's Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, franchises and operates McDonald's restaurants primarily in the United States, Europe, the Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.9, equal to the average leisure industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates McDonald's Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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