Dow Today: American Express (AXP) 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) closed up 61 points (+0.4%) at 16,421. During the day, 299.5 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 403.4 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 1,714 issues advancing vs. 1,311 declining with 127 unchanged.
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The Dow component that led the way higher today was American Express (NYSE: AXP), which sported a $1.38 gain (+1.5%) bringing the stock to $93.52. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 10.44 points or roughly accounting for 17.1% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for American Express ended the day at 3.9 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 4.1 million shares.

American Express has a market cap of $98.4 billion and is part of the financial sector and financial services industry. Shares are up 2.1% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1%.

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 impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. 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 UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), which lagged the broader Dow index with a 35-cent decline (-0.5%) bringing the stock to $77.64. Volume for UnitedHealth Group ended the day at 4.2 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 4.9 million shares.

UnitedHealth Group has a market cap of $77.29 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are up 3.8% year to date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 1.4%.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health and well-being company in the United States.

TheStreet Ratings rates UnitedHealth Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth and attractive valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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