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Dow Today: Bank Of America Corporation (BAC) Leads The Day Higher, Verizon Communications (VZ) Lags

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading up 35 points (+0.3%) at 13,379 as of Thursday, Oct 11, 2012, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 32.8 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 574.9 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,193 issues advancing vs. 480 declining with 125 unchanged.

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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC), which is sporting an 18-cent gain (+1.9%) bringing the stock to $9.39. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 1.36 points or roughly accounting for 3.9% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Bank of America Corporation currently sits at 12.1 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 134.4 million shares.

Bank of America Corporation has a market cap of $99.26 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 65.6% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 0.4%.

Bank of America Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides various banking and financial products and services to individual consumers, small-and middle-market businesses, institutional investors, corporations, and governments in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.3, below the average banking industry P/E ratio of 9.8 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Bank of America Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow.

Holding back the Dow today is Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 24-cent decline (-0.5%) bringing the stock to $45.54. Volume for Verizon Communications currently sits at 476,671 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 13.3 million shares.

Verizon Communications has a market cap of $131.36 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are up 14.1% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 4.5%.

Verizon Communications Inc. provides communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 45.7, equal to the average telecommunications industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Verizon Communications as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

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