Dow Today: Bank Of America Corporation (BAC) 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) is trading up 47 points (+0.3%) at 14,300 as of Wednesday, Mar 6, 2013, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 37.4 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 621.3 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,721 issues advancing vs. 732 declining with 189 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC), which is sporting a 31-cent gain (+2.6%) bringing the stock to $11.86. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 2.35 points or roughly accounting for 5% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Bank of America Corporation currently sits at 16.2 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 163.8 million shares.

Bank of America Corporation has a market cap of $123.46 billion and is part of the financial sector and banking industry. Shares are down 0.5% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 0.4%.

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 45.6, 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.

Holding back the Dow today is Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 36-cent decline (-1.3%) bringing the stock to $27.99. Volume for Microsoft Corporation currently sits at 4.3 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 47.2 million shares.

Microsoft Corporation has a market cap of $235.79 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer software & services industry. Shares are up 6.1% 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 15.5, 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 revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

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