Dow Today: 3M (MMM) Leads The Day Higher, Verizon Communications (VZ) 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) closed up 54 points (+0.4%) at 13,593. During the day, 941.8 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 581.5 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 2,080 issues advancing vs. 948 declining with 117 unchanged.
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The Dow component that led the way higher today was 3M (NYSE: MMM), which sported a $1.92 gain (+2.1%) bringing the stock to $93.98. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 14.53 points or roughly accounting for 26.9% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for 3M ended the day at 4.9 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 2.8 million shares.

3M has a market cap of $62.78 billion and is part of the conglomerates sector and conglomerates industry. Shares are up 12.6% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.6%.

3M Company operates as a diversified technology company worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.8, equal to the average conglomerates industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates 3M as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Holding the Dow back today was Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), which lagged the broader Dow index with a $1.05 decline (-2.3%) bringing the stock to $44.53. Volume for Verizon Communications ended the day at 21.8 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 14.3 million shares.

Verizon Communications has a market cap of $127.89 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are up 13.6% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 4.6%.

Verizon Communications Inc. provides communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 44.4, equal to the average telecommunications industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Verizon Communications as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

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