Dow Jones (DJIA) Today: Caterpillar (CAT) 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 up 158 points (+0.9%) at 17,877 as of Friday, Nov 21, 2014, 9:36 a.m. ET. During this time, 53.4 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 328.6 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 2,557 issues advancing vs. 271 declining with 159 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), which is sporting a $3.46 gain (+3.4%) bringing the stock to $105.56. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 26.19 points or roughly accounting for 16.6% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Caterpillar currently sits at 957,174 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 4.8 million shares.

Caterpillar has a market cap of $61.33 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and industrial industry. Shares are up 12.4% year-to-date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.8%.

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.

Holding back the Dow today is Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a nine-cent decline (-0.2%) bringing the stock to $50.10. Volume for Verizon Communications currently sits at 2.2 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 13.7 million shares.

Verizon Communications has a market cap of $209.52 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are up 2.1% year-to-date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 4.4%.

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 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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