Dow Today: Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) Leads The Day Higher, Alcoa (AA) 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) is trading up two points at 15,328 as of Thursday, Sep 12, 2013, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 17.2 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 521.4 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,037 issues advancing vs. 1,210 declining with 137 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT), which is sporting a 41-cent gain (+0.6%) bringing the stock to $74.46. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 3.1 points or roughly accounting for 155% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Wal-Mart Stores currently sits at 179,133 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 6.2 million shares.

Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $240.77 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are up 8.4% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.5%.

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.

TheStreet Ratings rates Wal-Mart Stores as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Holding back the Dow today is Alcoa (NYSE: AA), which is lagging the broader Dow index with an eight-cent decline (-1%) bringing the stock to $8.11. Volume for Alcoa currently sits at 818,254 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 19.3 million shares.

Alcoa has a market cap of $8.62 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. Shares are down 7.2% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.5%.

Alcoa Inc. engages in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina. The company operates in four segments: Alumina, Primary Metals, Global Rolled Products, and Engineered Products and Solutions.

TheStreet Ratings rates Alcoa as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its respectable return on equity which we feel is likely to continue. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

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