The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) is trading up 20 points (+0.2%) at 12,127 as of Thursday, Dec 22, 2011, 10:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 174.1 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 883.2 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,057 issues advancing vs. 777 declining with 129 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be

Alcoa

(NYSE:

AA

), which is sporting a three-cent gain (+0.3%) bringing the stock to $8.88. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 0.23 points or roughly accounting for 1.1% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Alcoa currently sits at 9.6 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 35.6 million shares.

Alcoa has a market cap of $9.45 billion and is part of the

basic materials

sector and

metals & mining

industry.

Alcoa, Inc. engages in the production and management of aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina. The company operates in four segments: Alumina, Primary Metals, Flat-Rolled Products, and Engineered Products and Solutions.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alcoa as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and robust revenue growth. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including poor profit margins, a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and generally poor debt management.

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