The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) closed up 114 points (+0.9%) at 13,204. During the day, 553 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 751.5 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 2,048 issues advancing vs. 953 declining with 122 unchanged.

The Dow component that led the way higher today was

International Business Machines

(NYSE:

IBM

), which sported a $2.01 gain (+1%) bringing the stock to $205.58. This single gain lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 15.21 points or roughly accounting for 13.3% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for International Business Machines ended the day at 3.2 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 4.2 million shares.

International Business Machines has a market cap of $231.73 billion and is part of the

technology

sector and

computer hardware

industry. Shares are up 8.8% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.5%.

International Business Machines Corporation provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. The company operates in five segments: Global Technology Services, Global Business Services, Software, Systems and Technology, and Global Financing. The company has a P/E ratio of 15, 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 International Business Machines as a

buy

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

Holding the Dow back today was

Exxon Mobil Corporation

(NYSE:

XOM

), which lagged the broader Dow index with a 73-cent decline (-0.8%) bringing the stock to $86.12. Volume for Exxon Mobil Corporation ended the day at 16.2 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 15.4 million shares.

Exxon Mobil Corporation has a market cap of $405.87 billion and is part of the

basic materials

sector and

energy

industry. Shares are up 1.8% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.2%.

Exxon Mobil Corporation engages in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas, and manufacture of petroleum products, as well as transportation and sale of crude oil, natural gas, and petroleum products. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.3, equal to the average energy industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Exxon Mobil Corporation as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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