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 76.0 points (-0.4%) at 17,890. During the day, 289.6 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 341.3 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 1,106 issues advancing vs. 1,974 declining with 151 unchanged.

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The Dow component that led the way higher today was

Verizon Communications

(NYSE:

VZ

), which sported a 15-cent gain (+0.3%) bringing the stock to $47.44. Volume for Verizon Communications ended the day at 14 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 15 million shares.

Verizon Communications has a market cap of $194.83 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are up 2.1% year-to-date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 4.6%.

Verizon Communications Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide.

TheStreet Ratings rates Verizon Communications 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, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Holding the Dow back today was

3M

(NYSE:

MMM

), which lagged the broader Dow index with a $1.62 decline (-1%) bringing the stock to $155.92. This single loss lowered the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 12.26 points or roughly accounting for 16.1% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for 3M ended the day at 2.6 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 2.3 million shares.

3M has a market cap of $101.39 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and industrial industry. Shares are down 2.7% year-to-date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.6%.

3M Company operates as a diversified technology company worldwide.

TheStreet Ratings rates 3M as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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