Dow Today: Home Depot (HD) Higher

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading up 68 points (+0.5%) at 12,905 as of Thursday, Mar 8, 2012, 1:40 p.m. ET. During this time, 348.2 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 2,288 issues advancing vs. 657 declining with 98 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Home Depot (NYSE: HD), which is sporting a 56-cent gain (+1.2%) bringing the stock to $47.96. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 4.24 points or roughly accounting for 6.2% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Home Depot currently sits at 6.4 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 10.7 million shares.

Home Depot has a market cap of $69.31 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are up 12.7% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.5%.

The Home Depot Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a home improvement retailer. The company's stores sell a range of building materials, home improvement products, and lawn and garden products to do-it-yourself, do-it-for-me (D-I-F-M), and professional customers. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.8, below the average retail industry P/E ratio of 19.4 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Home Depot as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. 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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