Dow Jones (DJIA) Today: McDonald's (MCD) Leads The Day Higher, Caterpillar (CAT) 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 47.0 points (-0.3%) at 17,638 as of Thursday, Nov 20, 2014, 9:36 a.m. ET. During this time, 11.4 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 329.3 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,092 issues advancing vs. 1,592 declining with 264 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be McDonald's (NYSE: MCD), which is sporting a 32-cent gain (+0.3%) bringing the stock to $96.88. Volume for McDonald's currently sits at 224,430 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of six million shares.

McDonald's has a market cap of $93.83 billion and is part of the services sector and leisure industry. Shares are down 0.5% year-to-date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.5%.

McDonald's Corporation franchises and operates McDonald's restaurants in the United States, Europe, the Asia/Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, Canada, and Latin America. The company's restaurants offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages, as well as breakfast menus.

TheStreet Ratings rates McDonald's as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Holding back the Dow today is Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), which is lagging the broader Dow index with an 89-cent decline (-0.9%) bringing the stock to $100.41. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 6.74 points or roughly accounting for 14.3% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Caterpillar currently sits at 243,524 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 4.8 million shares.

Caterpillar has a market cap of $61.77 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and industrial industry. Shares are up 11.6% year-to-date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.7%.

Caterpillar Inc. manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide.

TheStreet Ratings rates Caterpillar as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, increase in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and growth in earnings per share. 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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