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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading down 72.0 points (-0.6%) at 12,936 as of Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 29.5 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 731.5 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 531 issues advancing vs. 2,163 declining with 135 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Travelers Companies (NYSE: TRV), which is sporting an 11-cent gain (+0.2%) bringing the stock to $64.70. Volume for Travelers Companies currently sits at 66,993 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 3.1 million shares.

Travelers Companies has a market cap of $25.09 billion and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. Shares are up 9.2% year to date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.9%.

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 18.8, below the average insurance industry P/E ratio of 18.9 and above 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, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. 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 16-cent decline (-2%) bringing the stock to $7.80. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 1.21 points or roughly accounting for 1.7% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Bank of America Corporation currently sits at 11.8 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 268.3 million shares.

Bank of America Corporation has a market cap of $83.41 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 43.2% year to date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 0.5%.

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.

TheStreet Ratings rates Bank of America Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, generally poor debt management and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.
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