The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) is trading down 100.0 points (-0.8%) at 12,402 as of Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 31.6 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 541 issues advancing vs. 2,163 declining with 142 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be

Verizon Communications

(NYSE:

VZ

), which is sporting a 20-cent gain (+0.5%) bringing the stock to $41.59. Volume for Verizon Communications currently sits at 426,135 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 14.7 million shares.

Verizon Communications has a market cap of $117.45 billion and is part of the

technology

sector and

telecommunications

industry. Shares are up 3.2% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 4.8%.

Verizon Communications Inc. provides communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. It operates in two segments, Verizon Wireless and Wireline. The company has a P/E ratio of 44.5, above the average telecommunications industry P/E ratio of 44 and above 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, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

Holding back the Dow today is

Intel

(Nasdaq:

INTC

), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 97-cent decline (-3.7%) bringing the stock to $25.06. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 7.34 points or roughly accounting for 7.3% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Intel currently sits at five million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 36.6 million shares.

Intel has a market cap of $131.56 billion and is part of the

technology

sector and

electronics

industry. Shares are up 7.3% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.2%.

Intel Corporation designs, manufactures, and sells integrated digital technology platforms primarily in the Asia-Pacific, the Americas, Europe, and Japan. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.1, equal to the average electronics industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Intel 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, notable return on equity, 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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