Dow Today: Alcoa (AA) Higher

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading up 12 points at 13,206 as of Thursday, Mar 15, 2012, 11:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 393.4 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 1,448 issues advancing vs. 1,437 declining with 121 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Alcoa (NYSE: AA), which is sporting a four-cent gain (+0.3%) bringing the stock to $10.32. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 0.3 points or roughly accounting for 2.5% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Alcoa currently sits at 15.1 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 18.8% year to date as of Wednesday'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 18.7, equal to the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio 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.