Dow Today: Caterpillar (CAT) Leads The Day Higher, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) 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 28.0 points (-0.2%) at 12,514 as of Friday, Nov 16, 2012, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 82.6 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 602.7 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,338 issues advancing vs. 1,377 declining with 131 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), which is sporting a 35-cent gain (+0.4%) bringing the stock to $81.65. Volume for Caterpillar currently sits at 564,410 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 7.4 million shares.

Caterpillar has a market cap of $53.03 billion and is part of the conglomerates sector and conglomerates industry. Shares are down 10.5% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.6%.

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 8.3, 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 revenue growth, notable return on equity, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Holding back the Dow today is Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 22-cent decline (-1.7%) bringing the stock to $12.86. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 1.67 points or roughly accounting for 6% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Hewlett-Packard currently sits at 2.1 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 27.4 million shares.

Hewlett-Packard has a market cap of $25.83 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer hardware industry. Shares are down 49.2% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 4%.

Hewlett-Packard Company and its subsidiaries provide products, technologies, software, solutions, and services to individual consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as well as to the government, health, and education sectors worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of -4.7, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Hewlett-Packard as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins, weak operating cash flow and generally high debt management risk.

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