The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) is trading down four points at 12,977 as of Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 37.8 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 818.6 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,110 issues advancing vs. 1,524 declining with 170 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be

Bank of America Corporation

(NYSE:

BAC

), which is sporting a seven-cent gain (+0.8%) bringing the stock to $8.11. Volume for Bank of America Corporation currently sits at 22.4 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 271.9 million shares.

Bank of America Corporation has a market cap of $73.89 billion and is part of the

financial

sector and

banking

industry. Shares are up 44.6% year to date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 0.5%.

Bank of America Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides banking and financial services to individuals, small- and middle-market businesses, corporations, and governments primarily in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.6, below the average banking industry P/E ratio of 729 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Bank of America Corporation as a

sell

. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally weak debt management and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Holding back the Dow today is

American Express

(NYSE:

AXP

), which is lagging the broader Dow index with an 87-cent decline (-1.6%) bringing the stock to $53.31. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 6.58 points or roughly accounting for 164.5% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for American Express currently sits at 773,904 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 6.5 million shares.

American Express has a market cap of $57.18 billion and is part of the

financial

sector and

financial services

industry. Shares are up 14.9% year to date as of Monday'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 worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 13, above the average financial services industry P/E ratio of 11.9 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Express as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

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