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.

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The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) closed down 53.0 points (-0.3%) at 18,232. During the day, 245.7 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 362.9 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 1,093 issues advancing vs. 1,927 declining with 181 unchanged.

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The Dow component that led the way higher today was

American Express

(NYSE:

AXP

), which sported a 49-cent gain (+0.6%) bringing the stock to $81.25. Volume for American Express ended the day at 3.4 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 6.5 million shares.

American Express has a market cap of $82.24 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are down 13.2% year-to-date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.4%.

American Express Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to consumers and businesses worldwide. The company operates through four segments: U.S.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Express as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, growth in earnings per share, attractive valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Holding the Dow back today was

International Business Machines

(NYSE:

IBM

), which lagged the broader Dow index with a $1.12 decline (-0.7%) bringing the stock to $172.22. This single loss lowered the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 8.48 points or roughly accounting for 16% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for International Business Machines ended the day at 2.7 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 4.2 million shares.

International Business Machines has a market cap of $171.11 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer software & services industry. Shares are up 8% year-to-date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3%.

International Business Machines Corporation provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide.

TheStreet Ratings rates International Business Machines as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

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