Dow Today: Home Depot (HD) Leads The Day Higher, Travelers Companies (TRV) 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 up 54 points (+0.4%) at 13,161 as of Wednesday, Oct 31, 2012, 10:05 a.m. ET. During this time, 74.4 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 566.7 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,652 issues advancing vs. 1,204 declining with 135 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Home Depot (NYSE: HD), which is sporting a $1.70 gain (+2.8%) bringing the stock to $61.74. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 12.87 points or roughly accounting for 23.8% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Home Depot currently sits at 3.7 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 8.4 million shares.

Home Depot has a market cap of $90.51 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are up 42.8% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.9%.

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 21.5, 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, revenue growth, notable return on equity and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Holding back the Dow today is Travelers Companies (NYSE: TRV), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 79-cent decline (-1.1%) bringing the stock to $70.77. Volume for Travelers Companies currently sits at 563,336 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 2.3 million shares.

Travelers Companies has a market cap of $27.3 billion and is part of the financial sector and insurance industry. Shares are up 20.9% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.6%.

The Travelers Companies, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides various commercial and personal property and casualty insurance products and services to businesses, government units, associations, and individuals primarily in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.3, equal to the average insurance industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Travelers Companies 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, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

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