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Dow Today: UnitedHealth Group (UNH) Leads The Day Higher, McDonald's Corporation (MCD) 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 65.0 points (-0.4%) at 14,447. During the day, 567.3 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 608.8 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 1,219 issues advancing vs. 1,779 declining with 129 unchanged.

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The Dow component that led the way higher today was UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), which sported a 40-cent gain (+0.7%) bringing the stock to $54.86. Volume for UnitedHealth Group ended the day at 5.1 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 6.3 million shares.

UnitedHealth Group has a market cap of $56.25 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health and well-being company in the United States.

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.

Holding the Dow back today was McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD), which lagged the broader Dow index with a $1.03 decline (-1%) bringing the stock to $98.24. This single loss lowered the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 7.8 points or roughly accounting for 12% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for McDonald's Corporation ended the day at 4.9 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of five million shares.

McDonald's Corporation has a market cap of $99.05 billion and is part of the services sector and leisure industry. Shares are up 11.7% year to date as of Friday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.1%.

McDonald's Corporation franchises and operates McDonald's restaurants in the United States, Europe, the Asia/Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, Canada, and Latin America. Its restaurants offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages, as well as breakfast menus. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.4, above 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 net income, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

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