Dow Today: Caterpillar (CAT) Leads The Day Higher, American Express (AXP) Lags

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) closed down 73.0 points (-0.5%) at 15,425. During the day, 381.1 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 573 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 1,448 issues advancing vs. 1,537 declining with 124 unchanged.
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The Dow component that led the way higher today was Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), which sported a 55-cent gain (+0.7%) bringing the stock to $84.51. Volume for Caterpillar ended the day at 5.2 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 6.2 million shares.

Caterpillar has a market cap of $53.38 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and industrial industry. Shares are down 8% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.9%.

Caterpillar Inc. manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide.

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, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Holding the Dow back today was American Express (NYSE: AXP), which lagged the broader Dow index with a 69-cent decline (-0.9%) bringing the stock to $75.50. This single loss lowered the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 5.22 points or roughly accounting for 7.2% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for American Express ended the day at 3.9 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 5.8 million shares.

American Express has a market cap of $81.07 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are up 32.6% 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 revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and notable return on equity. 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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