The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) is trading down 11 points at 12,276 as of Friday, Dec 30, 2011, 11:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 134.2 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 858.6 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,793 issues advancing vs. 1,083 declining with 150 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be

Verizon Communications

(NYSE:

VZ

), which is sporting a 15-cent gain (+0.4%) bringing the stock to $40.20. Volume for Verizon Communications currently sits at 3.1 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 14.1 million shares.

Verizon Communications has a market cap of $112.56 billion and is part of the

technology

sector and

telecommunications

industry. Shares are up 11.9% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 5%.

Verizon Communications Inc. provides communication services. The company operates through two segments, Domestic Wireless and Wireline. The Domestic Wireless segment offers wireless voice and data services; and sells equipment in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 16, below the average telecommunications industry P/E ratio of 19.1 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Verizon Communications as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income 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.

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