Dow Today: American Express (AXP) Higher

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading up 69 points (+0.5%) at 13,233 as of Thursday, Aug 16, 2012, 1:35 p.m. ET. During this time, 330.3 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 661.9 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,050 issues advancing vs. 866 declining with 142 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be American Express (NYSE: AXP), which is sporting a 63-cent gain (+1.1%) bringing the stock to $57.29. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 4.77 points or roughly accounting for 6.9% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for American Express currently sits at three million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 5.4 million shares.

American Express has a market cap of $64.02 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are up 19% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.4%.

American Express Company provides charge and credit payment card products, and travel-related services to worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.1, below the average financial services industry P/E ratio of 13.3 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, increase in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity 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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