Dow Today: Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) Higher

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading up 74 points (+0.6%) at 12,833 as of Wednesday, Mar 7, 2012, 12:35 p.m. ET. During this time, 314.2 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 2,238 issues advancing vs. 692 declining with 107 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT), which is sporting a 60-cent gain (+1%) bringing the stock to $59.56. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 4.54 points or roughly accounting for 6.1% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Wal-Mart Stores currently sits at 5.9 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 9.5 million shares.

Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $210.24 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are down 0.6% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.7%.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores in various formats worldwide. The company's Walmart U.S. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.1, equal to the average retail industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Wal-Mart Stores as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, attractive valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

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