Dow Today: Verizon Communications (VZ) 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 80 points (+0.5%) at 15,040. During the day, 626.8 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 599.5 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 2,365 issues advancing vs. 667 declining with 86 unchanged.
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The Dow component that led the way higher today was Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), which sported a $1.67 gain (+3.5%) bringing the stock to $49.97. This single gain lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 12.64 points or roughly accounting for 15.8% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Verizon Communications ended the day at 17.5 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 13.1 million shares.

Verizon Communications has a market cap of $144.94 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are up 11.6% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 4.2%.

Verizon Communications Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 122.1, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Verizon Communications as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Holding the Dow back today was Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), which lagged the broader Dow index with a 42-cent decline (-0.5%) bringing the stock to $84. Volume for Caterpillar ended the day at 6.6 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 7.1 million shares.

Caterpillar has a market cap of $56.51 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and industrial industry. Shares are down 5.8% year to date as of Wednesday'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 11.6, 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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