The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) closed up 59 points (+0.5%) at 12,676. During the day, 578.8 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 685.8 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 1,613 issues advancing vs. 1,382 declining with 113 unchanged.

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The Dow component that led the way higher today was

International Business Machines

(NYSE:

IBM

), which sported a 74-cent gain (+0.4%) bringing the stock to $191.08. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 5.6 points or roughly accounting for 9.5% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for International Business Machines ended the day at 3.8 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 4.1 million shares.

International Business Machines has a market cap of $221.99 billion and is part of the

technology

sector and

computer hardware

industry. Shares are up 3.5% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.8%.

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 14.3, above the average computer hardware industry P/E ratio of 14 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 solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. 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

Microsoft Corporation

(Nasdaq:

MSFT

), which lagged the broader Dow index with a 32-cent decline (-1.1%) bringing the stock to $28.83. Volume for Microsoft Corporation ended the day at 45.1 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 44.4 million shares.

Microsoft Corporation has a market cap of $245.98 billion and is part of the

technology

sector and

computer software & services

industry. Shares are up 12.3% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.7%.

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports a range of software products and services for various computing devices worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.6, equal to the average computer software & services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Microsoft Corporation as a

buy

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

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