Dow Today: American Express (AXP) Leads The Day Higher, Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Lags

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading up 11 points at 15,471 as of Friday, Jul 12, 2013, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 25.2 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 609.7 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,108 issues advancing vs. 1,320 declining with 191 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be American Express (NYSE: AXP), which is sporting a 57-cent gain (+0.8%) bringing the stock to $77.52. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 4.39 points or roughly accounting for 39.9% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for American Express currently sits at 199,012 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 5.7 million shares.

American Express has a market cap of $83.86 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are up 32.8% year to date as of Thursday'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.

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.

Holding back the Dow today is Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 22-cent decline (-0.6%) bringing the stock to $35.46. Volume for Microsoft Corporation currently sits at 1.9 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 51.1 million shares.

Microsoft Corporation has a market cap of $289.78 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer software & services industry. Shares are up 29.9% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.7%.

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software products and services; and designs and sells hardware worldwide.

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 increase in net income. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

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