Dow Today: Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) Leads The Day Higher, Bank Of America Corporation (BAC) 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 59.0 points (-0.4%) at 13,868 as of Thursday, Feb 21, 2013, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 35.8 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 620.8 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 771 issues advancing vs. 1,687 declining with 169 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT), which is sporting a 96-cent gain (+1.4%) bringing the stock to $70.17. Volume for Wal-Mart Stores currently sits at two million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 8.9 million shares.

Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $230.02 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are up 0.8% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.3%.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores in various formats worldwide. It operates retail stores, restaurants, discount stores, supermarkets, supercenters, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, apparel stores, Sam's Clubs, and neighborhood markets, as well as walmart.com; and samsclub.com. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Wal-Mart Stores as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, increase in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Holding back the Dow today is Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 15-cent decline (-1.3%) bringing the stock to $11.65. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 1.14 points or roughly accounting for 1.9% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Bank of America Corporation currently sits at 15.2 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 163.2 million shares.

Bank of America Corporation has a market cap of $131.38 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are up 5% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 0.3%.

Bank of America Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides various banking and financial products and services to individual consumers, small-and middle-market businesses, institutional investors, corporations, and governments in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 48.8, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Bank of America Corporation as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income and generally higher debt management risk.

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