Dow Today: Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) 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 23.0 points (-0.2%) at 14,427 as of Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 17.9 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 620.3 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,299 issues advancing vs. 1,137 declining with 182 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT), which is sporting a 46-cent gain (+0.6%) bringing the stock to $74.06. Volume for Wal-Mart Stores currently sits at 312,476 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 8.7 million shares.

Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $244.14 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are up 7.9% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.6%.

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 14.5, 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, increase in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Holding back the Dow today is Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 12-cent decline (-0.6%) bringing the stock to $21.28. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 0.91 points or roughly accounting for 4% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Hewlett-Packard currently sits at 553,725 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 26.9 million shares.

Hewlett-Packard has a market cap of $41.07 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer hardware industry. Shares are up 50.2% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.5%.

Hewlett-Packard Company and its subsidiaries provide products, technologies, software, solutions, and services to individual consumers, small-and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and large enterprises, including customers in the government, health, and education sectors worldwide.

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

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