Dow Today: Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) Leads The Day Higher, Caterpillar (CAT) 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 nine points at 15,303. During the day, 465.8 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 594.1 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 1,328 issues advancing vs. 1,638 declining with 133 unchanged.
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The Dow component that led the way higher today was Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT), which sported a 98-cent gain (+1.3%) bringing the stock to $77.31. This single gain lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 7.42 points or roughly accounting for 82.4% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Wal-Mart Stores ended the day at 7.6 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 7.8 million shares.

Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $253.42 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are up 11.9% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.4%.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores in various formats worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam's Club. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.2, 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, revenue growth, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Holding the Dow back today was Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), which lagged the broader Dow index with a 74-cent decline (-0.8%) bringing the stock to $86.21. Volume for Caterpillar ended the day at 4.6 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 7.1 million shares.

Caterpillar has a market cap of $57.68 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and industrial industry. Shares are down 2.1% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.4%.

Caterpillar Inc. manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.8, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Caterpillar as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations 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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