Dow Today: American Express (AXP) Higher

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading up 114 points (+0.9%) at 13,327 as of Tuesday, May 1, 2012, 12:35 p.m. ET. During this time, 314.1 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 743.8 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,401 issues advancing vs. 552 declining with 115 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be American Express (NYSE: AXP), which is sporting a 67-cent gain (+1.1%) bringing the stock to $60.88. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 5.07 points or roughly accounting for 4.4% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for American Express currently sits at 4.2 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 6.2 million shares.

American Express has a market cap of $70.3 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are up 27.6% year to date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.3%.

American Express Company provides charge and credit payment card products, and travel-related services to worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.4, equal to the average financial services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

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