Dow Today: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) 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 down 29.0 points (-0.2%) at 13,078 as of Wednesday, Oct 31, 2012, 12:05 p.m. ET. During this time, 226.7 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 1,483 issues advancing vs. 1,483 declining with 118 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT), which is sporting a 44-cent gain (+1.6%) bringing the stock to $28.65. Volume for Microsoft Corporation currently sits at 33.1 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 41.7 million shares.

Microsoft Corporation has a market cap of $237.43 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer software & services industry. Shares are up 8.7% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.3%.

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software products and services; and designs and sells hardware worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.2, 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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