Dow Today: Pfizer (PFE) Leads The Day Higher, UnitedHealth Group (UNH) 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 18.0 points (-0.1%) at 16,149 as of Thursday, Dec 19, 2013, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 17.3 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 370.5 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,431 issues advancing vs. 647 declining with 96 unchanged.
  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), which is sporting a 21-cent gain (+0.7%) bringing the stock to $30.98. Volume for Pfizer currently sits at 1.5 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 25.3 million shares.

Pfizer has a market cap of $195.34 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 22.7% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.5%.

Pfizer Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells medicines for people and animals worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 20, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Pfizer as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Holding back the Dow today is UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 61-cent decline (-0.8%) bringing the stock to $71.77. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 4.62 points or roughly accounting for 25.7% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for UnitedHealth Group currently sits at 157,447 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 5.1 million shares.

UnitedHealth Group has a market cap of $71.21 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are up 33.4% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.6%.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health and well-being company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.4, 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, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

null

More from Markets

Dow Logs Eighth Straight Drop as Stocks Slump

Dow Logs Eighth Straight Drop as Stocks Slump

This Is What's Hot Thursday - Stocks Slide, Intel's CEO Woes & Major Movers

This Is What's Hot Thursday - Stocks Slide, Intel's CEO Woes & Major Movers

U.S. Banks Pass Fed 'Stress Test' With Room for Dividends, Buybacks

U.S. Banks Pass Fed 'Stress Test' With Room for Dividends, Buybacks

U.S. Drillers at Mercy of Iran, Saudi Production Spat as OPEC Meeting Begins

U.S. Drillers at Mercy of Iran, Saudi Production Spat as OPEC Meeting Begins

Comcast's Brian Roberts vs. Disney's Bob Iger: Which Titan Will Nab Fox?

Comcast's Brian Roberts vs. Disney's Bob Iger: Which Titan Will Nab Fox?