Dow Today: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Leads The Day Higher, Home Depot (HD) Lags

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading up 53 points (+0.4%) at 12,704 as of Friday, Jun 15, 2012, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 139.6 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 711.8 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,641 issues advancing vs. 1,021 declining with 172 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT), which is sporting a 38-cent gain (+1.3%) bringing the stock to $29.72. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 2.88 points or roughly accounting for 5.4% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Microsoft Corporation currently sits at 12.4 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 44.6 million shares.

Microsoft Corporation has a market cap of $244.72 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer software & services industry. Shares are up 9.8% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.8%.

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports a range of software products and services for various computing devices worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.7, equal to the average computer software & services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Microsoft Corporation 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, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Holding back the Dow today is Home Depot (NYSE: HD), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 19-cent decline (-0.4%) bringing the stock to $51.97. Volume for Home Depot currently sits at 2.5 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 11 million shares.

Home Depot has a market cap of $78.02 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are up 16.4% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.3%.

The Home Depot, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a home improvement retailer. The company's stores sell building materials, and home improvement and lawn and garden products to do-it-yourself, do-it-for-me (at D-I-F-M), and professional customers. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.2, equal to the average retail industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

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