Dow Today: Alcoa (AA) Leads The Day Higher, General Electric (GE) 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 13 points at 13,248 as of Tuesday, Dec 18, 2012, 10:00 a.m. ET. During this time, 124.8 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 619.1 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,693 issues advancing vs. 1,088 declining with 157 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Alcoa (NYSE: AA), which is sporting an 11-cent gain (+1.3%) bringing the stock to $8.86. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 0.83 points or roughly accounting for 6.4% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Alcoa currently sits at 2.2 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 16.8 million shares.

Alcoa has a market cap of $9.33 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. Shares are up 1% year to date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.4%.

Alcoa Inc. engages in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina. The company operates in four segments: Alumina, Primary Metals, Flat-Rolled Products, and Engineered Products and Solutions.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alcoa as a hold. The company's strongest point has been its a solid financial position based on a variety of debt and liquidity measures that we have looked at. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins.

Holding back the Dow today is General Electric (NYSE: GE), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 32-cent decline (-1.4%) bringing the stock to $21.62. Volume for General Electric currently sits at 7.8 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 42.7 million shares.

General Electric has a market cap of $226.71 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and industrial industry. Shares are up 20.7% year to date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.5%.

General Electric Company operates as a technology and financial services company worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates General Electric as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, increase in net income, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. 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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