The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading up 52 points (+0.4%) at 12,889 as of Thursday, Mar 8, 2012, 9:40 a.m. ET. During this time, 34.9 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 2,302 issues advancing vs. 310 declining with 99 unchanged. The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be United Technologies (NYSE: UTX), which is sporting a $1.37 gain (+1.7%) bringing the stock to $83.94. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 10.37 points or roughly accounting for 19.9% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for United Technologies currently sits at 124,534 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 4.4 million shares. United Technologies has a market cap of $70.48 billion and is part of the conglomerates sector and conglomerates industry. Shares are up 13% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.4%. United Technologies Corporation provides technology products and services to the building systems and aerospace industries worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.8, above the average conglomerates industry P/E ratio of 14.6 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. TheStreet Ratings rates United Technologies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.
Holding back the Dow today is McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a $2.68 decline (-2.7%) bringing the stock to $97.50. Volume for McDonald's Corporation currently sits at 2.4 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 5.4 million shares.
McDonald's Corporation has a market cap of $101.04 billion and is part of the services sector and leisure industry. Shares are down 0.1% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.8%. McDonald's Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, franchises and operates McDonald's restaurants primarily in the United States, Europe, the Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. The company has a P/E ratio of 19, below the average leisure industry P/E ratio of 19.3 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. TheStreet Ratings rates McDonald's Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.