Dow Today: UnitedHealth Group (UNH) Leads The Day Higher, American Express (AXP) 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 down 116.0 points (-0.8%) at 15,122. During the day, 511.9 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 602.2 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 400 issues advancing vs. 2,679 declining with 69 unchanged.
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The Dow component that led the way higher today was UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), which sported a 25-cent gain (+0.4%) bringing the stock to $63.93. Volume for UnitedHealth Group ended the day at six million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of six million shares.

UnitedHealth Group has a market cap of $63.82 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are up 17.4% year to date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.8%.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health and well-being company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.2, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates UnitedHealth Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Holding the Dow back today was American Express (NYSE: AXP), which lagged the broader Dow index with a $1.76 decline (-2.3%) bringing the stock to $76.52. This single loss lowered the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 13.32 points or roughly accounting for 11.5% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for American Express ended the day at 5.4 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 5.4 million shares.

American Express has a market cap of $85.74 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are up 35.8% year to date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.2%.

American Express Company provides charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services to customers worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates American Express as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance 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.

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