Dow Today: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Leads The Day Higher, Pfizer (PFE) Lags

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 down 20.0 points (-0.2%) at 13,137 as of Monday, Aug 27, 2012, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 18.1 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 1,327 issues advancing vs. 1,250 declining with 230 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT), which is sporting a 27-cent gain (+0.9%) bringing the stock to $30.83. Volume for Microsoft Corporation currently sits at 2.8 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 42.7 million shares.

Microsoft Corporation has a market cap of $254.27 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer software & services industry. Shares are up 17.7% year to date as of Friday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.6%.

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports a range of software products and services; and designs and sells hardware worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.1, 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, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Holding back the Dow today is Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), which is lagging the broader Dow index with an 11-cent decline (-0.5%) bringing the stock to $23.90. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 0.83 points or roughly accounting for 4.1% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Pfizer currently sits at 597,676 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 34.6 million shares.

Pfizer has a market cap of $178.44 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 11% year to date as of Friday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.7%.

Pfizer Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the discovery, development, manufacture, and sale of medicines for people and animals worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.1, above the average drugs industry P/E ratio of 17.7 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Pfizer 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, compelling growth in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.
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