Dow Today: Verizon Communications (VZ) Leads The Day Higher, Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) 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 150.0 points (-0.9%) at 15,698. During the day, 486.7 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 366.7 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 1,131 issues advancing vs. 1,905 declining with 160 unchanged.
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The Dow component that led the way higher today was Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), which sported a 39-cent gain (+0.8%) bringing the stock to $48.02. Volume for Verizon Communications ended the day at 17.8 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 12.8 million shares.

Verizon Communications has a market cap of $136.39 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are down 3.1% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 4.5%.

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 16.8, below 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, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Holding the Dow back today was Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM), which lagged the broader Dow index with a $1.83 decline (-1.9%) bringing the stock to $92.16. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 13.85 points or roughly accounting for 9.2% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Exxon Mobil Corporation ended the day at 16.8 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 12.3 million shares.

Exxon Mobil Corporation has a market cap of $415.49 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are down 7.1% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.6%.

Exxon Mobil Corporation engages in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas, and manufacture of petroleum products. The company also transports and sells crude oil, natural gas, and petroleum products. It has approximately 37,228 gross and 31,264 net operated wells. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Exxon Mobil Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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