Dow Today: Bank Of America Corporation (BAC) Leads The Day Higher, Travelers Companies (TRV) Lags

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading up 11 points at 13,181 as of Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 45.6 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 1,497 issues advancing vs. 1,005 declining with 205 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC), which is sporting an 11-cent gain (+1.1%) bringing the stock to $9.92. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 0.83 points or roughly accounting for 7.5% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Bank of America Corporation currently sits at 30 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 76.4% year to date as of Tuesday'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 29.8, 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 Travelers Companies (NYSE: TRV), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 53-cent decline (-0.9%) bringing the stock to $58.63. Volume for Travelers Companies currently sits at 135,489 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 0% year to date as of Tuesday'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 17.6, 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, attractive valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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