Dow Today: Kraft Foods (KFT) Leads The Day Higher, Caterpillar (CAT) 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 78 points (+0.6%) at 13,515. During the day, 575.2 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 578.7 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 1,870 issues advancing vs. 1,156 declining with 95 unchanged.
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The Dow component that led the way higher today was Kraft Foods (Nasdaq: KFT), which sported a $1.17 gain (+2.8%) bringing the stock to $42.52. This single gain lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 8.85 points or roughly accounting for 11.3% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Kraft Foods ended the day at 24.1 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 13.9 million shares.

Kraft Foods has a market cap of $73.11 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and food & beverage industry. Shares are up 10.3% year to date as of Friday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.8%.

Kraft Foods Inc., together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets packaged food products worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.5, above the average food & beverage industry P/E ratio of 20.3 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kraft Foods 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, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Holding the Dow back today was Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), which lagged the broader Dow index with a 56-cent decline (-0.7%) bringing the stock to $85.47. Volume for Caterpillar ended the day at 7.3 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 7.6 million shares.

Caterpillar has a market cap of $56.78 billion and is part of the conglomerates sector and conglomerates industry. Shares are down 4.1% year to date as of Friday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.4%.

Caterpillar Inc. manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.7, equal to the average conglomerates industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Caterpillar as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. 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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