The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading up 31 points (+0.2%) at 12,990 as of Tuesday, Mar 13, 2012, 9:40 a.m. ET. During this time, 37 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 2,236 issues advancing vs. 473 declining with 120 unchanged. The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Alcoa (NYSE: AA), which is sporting an 18-cent gain (+1.8%) bringing the stock to $10.05. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 1.36 points or roughly accounting for 4.4% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Alcoa currently sits at 1.8 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 30.2 million shares. Alcoa has a market cap of $10.93 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. Shares are up 14.1% year to date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.2%. Alcoa, Inc. engages in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina. The company operates in four segments: Alumina, Primary Metals, Flat-Rolled Products, and Engineered Products and Solutions. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.8, below the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio of 18.7 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. TheStreet Ratings rates Alcoa as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, unimpressive growth in net income and poor profit margins.
Holding back the Dow today is Travelers Companies (NYSE: TRV), which is lagging the broader index with a three-cent decline to $57.58. Volume for Travelers Companies currently sits at 68,121 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 3.9 million shares.
Travelers Companies has a market cap of $23.94 billion and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. Shares are down 2.6% year to date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.8%. The Travelers Companies, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides various commercial and personal property and casualty insurance products and services to businesses, government units, associations, and individuals primarily in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.1, above the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 15.4 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. TheStreet Ratings rates Travelers Companies 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 and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.