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Dow Today: UnitedHealth Group (UNH) Leads The Day Higher, Nike (NKE) Lags

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading up 68 points (+0.4%) at 16,247 as of Friday, Dec 20, 2013, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 99.9 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 372.6 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,863 issues advancing vs. 870 declining with 215 unchanged.

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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), which is sporting a 67-cent gain (+0.9%) bringing the stock to $73.06. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 5.07 points or roughly accounting for 7.5% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for UnitedHealth Group currently sits at 1.3 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 5.1 million shares.

UnitedHealth Group has a market cap of $72.87 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are up 33.5% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.6%.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health and well-being company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.7, 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, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Holding back the Dow today is Nike (NYSE: NKE), which is lagging the broader Dow index with an 87-cent decline (-1.1%) bringing the stock to $77.39. Volume for Nike currently sits at 1.5 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 3.8 million shares.

Nike has a market cap of $55.9 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and consumer non-durables industry. Shares are up 51.7% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.2%.

NIKE, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the design, development, marketing, and sale of athletic footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories, as well as in the provision of services to men, women, and kids worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 26.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Nike as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

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