Dow Today: Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) Higher

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading up two points at 12,444 as of Friday, May 18, 2012, 12:35 p.m. ET. During this time, 455.1 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 723 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,227 issues advancing vs. 1,713 declining with 106 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT), which is sporting a 71-cent gain (+1.1%) bringing the stock to $62.39. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 5.37 points or roughly accounting for 268.5% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Wal-Mart Stores currently sits at 8.8 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 10.7 million shares.

Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $201.29 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are up 3.2% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.7%.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores in various formats worldwide. It operates retail stores, restaurants, discount stores, supermarkets, supercenters, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, apparel stores, Sam's Clubs, and neighborhood markets, as well as walmart.com; and samsclub.com. The company has a P/E ratio of 13, equal to the average retail industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Wal-Mart Stores as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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