The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) is trading down 156.0 points (-1.2%) at 12,346 as of Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 12:35 p.m. ET. During this time, 360.7 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 731.4 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 574 issues advancing vs. 2,377 declining with 106 unchanged.

Holding back the Dow today is

Microsoft Corporation

(Nasdaq:

MSFT

), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a $1.04 decline (-3.5%) bringing the stock to $28.72. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 7.87 points or roughly accounting for 5% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Microsoft Corporation currently sits at 35 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 45.5 million shares.

Microsoft Corporation has a market cap of $249.93 billion and is part of the

technology

sector and

computer software & services

industry. Shares are up 14.6% 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 10.9, 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, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins 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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