Dow Today: International Business Machines (IBM) Leads The Day Higher, Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) 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 81 points (+0.6%) at 13,155. During the day, 602.4 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 633.6 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 1,645 issues advancing vs. 1,346 declining with 141 unchanged.
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The Dow component that led the way higher today was International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM), which sported a $2.25 gain (+1.2%) bringing the stock to $191.95. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 17.03 points or roughly accounting for 21% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for International Business Machines ended the day at four million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 4.2 million shares.

International Business Machines has a market cap of $213.16 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer hardware industry. Shares are up 3.2% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.8%.

International Business Machines Corporation provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. The company operates in five segments: Global Technology Services, Global Business Services, Software, Systems and Technology, and Global Financing. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.6, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates International Business Machines as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins 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.

Holding the Dow back today was Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT), which lagged the broader Dow index with a 27-cent decline (-1%) bringing the stock to $26.46. Volume for Microsoft Corporation ended the day at 44.6 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 54.9 million shares.

Microsoft Corporation has a market cap of $224.47 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer software & services industry. Shares are up 2.9% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.4%.

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software products and services; and designs and sells hardware worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.4, 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, increase in stock price during the past year, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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