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Dow Today: Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) Leads The Day Higher, UnitedHealth Group (UNH) 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) closed down 108.0 points (-0.8%) at 13,927. During the day, 649.4 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 619 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 714 issues advancing vs. 2,310 declining with 92 unchanged.

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The Dow component that led the way higher today was Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT), which sported a 45-cent gain (+0.7%) bringing the stock to $69.21. Volume for Wal-Mart Stores ended the day at 11.8 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 8.7 million shares.

Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $231.82 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are up 1.6% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.3%.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores in various formats worldwide. It operates retail stores, restaurants, discount stores, supermarkets, supercenters, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, apparel stores, Sam's Clubs, and neighborhood markets, as well as walmart.com; and samsclub.com. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.3, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Wal-Mart Stores as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Holding the Dow back today was UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), which lagged the broader Dow index with a $1.45 decline (-2.6%) bringing the stock to $55.21. This single loss lowered the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 10.97 points or roughly accounting for 10.2% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for UnitedHealth Group ended the day at 7.4 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 6.1 million shares.

UnitedHealth Group has a market cap of $58.75 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are up 5.7% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.5%.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health and well-being company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates UnitedHealth Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

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