Dow Today: 3M (MMM) Leads The Day Higher, Verizon Communications (VZ) 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 down 7.0 points at 15,877 as of Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 15.4 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 375.2 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 861 issues advancing vs. 1,860 declining with 252 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be 3M (NYSE: MMM), which is sporting a $2.54 gain (+2%) bringing the stock to $130.20. Volume for 3M currently sits at 453,175 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 2.7 million shares.

3M has a market cap of $85.12 billion and is part of the conglomerates sector and conglomerates industry. Shares are up 37.5% year to date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2%.

3M Company operates as a diversified technology company worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.4, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates 3M 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, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Holding back the Dow today is Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 46-cent decline (-0.9%) bringing the stock to $47.80. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 3.48 points or roughly accounting for 49.7% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Verizon Communications currently sits at 429,998 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 12.9 million shares.

Verizon Communications has a market cap of $136.82 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are up 11.5% year to date as of Monday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 4.4%.

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 63, 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 somewhat disappointing return on equity.

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