The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) is trading up 257 points (+2.2%) at 12,023 as of Tuesday, Dec 20, 2011, 10:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 231 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 899 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,629 issues advancing vs. 257 declining with 75 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be

AT&T

(NYSE:

T

), which is sporting a 24-cent gain (+0.8%) bringing the stock to $28.98. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 1.82 points or roughly accounting for 0.7% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for AT&T currently sits at 10.5 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 28.8 million shares.

AT&T has a market cap of $170.97 billion and is part of the

technology

sector and

telecommunications

industry. Shares are down 2.2% year to date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 6%.

AT&T Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides telecommunication services to consumers, businesses, and other service providers worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.6, below the average telecommunications industry P/E ratio of 14.7 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates AT&T as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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