Dow Today: Bank Of America Corporation (BAC) Leads The Day Higher, Caterpillar (CAT) Lags

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading down 99.0 points (-0.7%) at 13,140 as of Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 44.8 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 434 issues advancing vs. 2,262 declining with 113 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC), which is sporting a 20-cent gain (+2%) bringing the stock to $9.72. Volume for Bank of America Corporation currently sits at 27.2 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 271.9 million shares.

Bank of America Corporation has a market cap of $73.89 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 71.4% year to date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 0.4%.

Bank of America Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides various banking and financial products and services to individual consumers, small-and middle-market businesses, institutional investors, corporations, and governments in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 30.6, below the average banking industry P/E ratio of 729 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Bank of America Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally poor debt management and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Holding back the Dow today is Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a $2.31 decline (-2%) bringing the stock to $111.42. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 17.48 points or roughly accounting for 17.7% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Caterpillar currently sits at 580,815 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 7.8 million shares.

Caterpillar has a market cap of $68.73 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and industrial industry. Shares are up 25.5% year to date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.6%.

Caterpillar Inc. manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.3, below the average industrial industry P/E ratio of 16.3 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Caterpillar as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. 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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