Dow Today: Bank Of America Corporation (BAC) Leads The Day Higher, Kraft Foods (KFT) Lags

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading up 14 points (+0.1%) at 12,773 as of Wednesday, Mar 7, 2012, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 29.7 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 818.6 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,782 issues advancing vs. 875 declining with 146 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC), which is sporting a 10-cent gain (+1.3%) bringing the stock to $7.81. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 0.76 points or roughly accounting for 5.4% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Bank of America Corporation currently sits at 13 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 271.9 million shares.

Bank of America Corporation has a market cap of $73.89 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 38.7% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 0.5%.

Bank of America Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides various banking and financial products and services to individual consumers, small-and middle-market businesses, institutional investors, corporations, and governments in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.9, below the average banking industry P/E ratio of 729 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Bank of America Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally poor debt management and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Holding back the Dow today is Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 31-cent decline (-0.8%) bringing the stock to $37.96. Volume for Kraft Foods currently sits at 521,674 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of eight million shares.

Kraft Foods has a market cap of $67.67 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and food & beverage industry. Shares are up 2.6% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3%.

Kraft Foods Inc., together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets packaged food products worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.3, below the average food & beverage industry P/E ratio of 21 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kraft Foods as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. 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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