The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) is trading down 25.0 points (-0.2%) at 12,471 as of Thursday, May 24, 2012, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 36.5 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 731.5 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,541 issues advancing vs. 1,125 declining with 156 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be

Hewlett-Packard

(NYSE:

HPQ

), which is sporting a 97-cent gain (+4.6%) bringing the stock to $22.05. Volume for Hewlett-Packard currently sits at 5.5 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 19.6 million shares.

Hewlett-Packard has a market cap of $43.07 billion and is part of the

technology

sector and

computer hardware

industry. Shares are down 18.2% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.4%.

Hewlett-Packard Company and its subsidiaries provide products, technologies, software, solutions, and services to individual consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as well as to the government, health, and education sectors worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.6, equal to the average computer hardware industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hewlett-Packard as a

hold

. Among the primary strengths of the company is its attractive valuation levels, considering its current price compared to earnings, book value and other measures. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

Holding back the Dow today is

Alcoa

(NYSE:

AA

), which is lagging the broader Dow index with an eight-cent decline (-0.9%) bringing the stock to $8.53. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 0.61 points or roughly accounting for 2.4% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Alcoa currently sits at 664,292 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 24.7 million shares.

Alcoa has a market cap of $9.06 billion and is part of the

basic materials

sector and

metals & mining

industry. Shares are down 0.5% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.4%.

Alcoa, Inc. engages in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina. The company operates in four segments: Alumina, Primary Metals, Flat-Rolled Products, and Engineered Products and Solutions. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.9, below the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio of 23.6 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alcoa as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity.

null