Dow Today: Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) 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 18.0 points (-0.1%) at 16,411 as of Wednesday, Aug 6, 2014, 9:36 a.m. ET. During this time, 23.9 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 305.3 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 959 issues advancing vs. 1,729 declining with 213 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT), which is sporting a $1.16 gain (+1.6%) bringing the stock to $74.02. Volume for Wal-Mart Stores currently sits at 610,218 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 5.8 million shares.

Wal-Mart Stores has a market cap of $237.06 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are down 6.5% year-to-date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.6%.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. operates retail stores in various formats worldwide. The company operates through 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, good cash flow from operations, reasonable valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Holding back the Dow today is Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a $1.04 decline (-2.1%) bringing the stock to $48.62. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 7.87 points or roughly accounting for 43.7% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Verizon Communications currently sits at 2.4 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 13.8 million shares.

Verizon Communications has a market cap of $208.13 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are up 2.2% year-to-date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 4.2%.

Verizon Communications Inc. provides communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide.

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, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

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