Dow Today: Cisco Systems (CSCO) Leads The Day Higher, Bank Of America Corporation (BAC) Lags

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading down 6.0 points at 13,040 as of Friday, Mar 23, 2012, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 36.3 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 1,169 issues advancing vs. 1,406 declining with 165 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), which is sporting a seven-cent gain (+0.3%) bringing the stock to $20.45. Volume for Cisco Systems currently sits at 1.5 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 46.8 million shares.

Cisco Systems has a market cap of $106.52 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer hardware industry. Shares are up 13.4% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.6%.

Cisco Systems, Inc. designs, manufactures, and sells Internet protocol (IP)-based networking and other products related to the communications and information technology industry worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.1, below the average computer hardware industry P/E ratio of 17.1 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Cisco Systems as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Holding back the Dow today is Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 12-cent decline (-1.3%) bringing the stock to $9.48. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 0.91 points or roughly accounting for 15.2% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Bank of America Corporation currently sits at 25.4 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 72.7% year to date as of Thursday'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 30.7, 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.
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