Dow Jones (DJIA) Today: Verizon Communications (VZ) Leads The Day Higher, McDonald's (MCD) 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..

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading down 26.0 points (-0.1%) at 18,286 as of Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 9:36 a.m. ET. During this time, 12.7 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 364.9 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,236 issues advancing vs. 1,418 declining with 268 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), which is sporting a 28-cent gain (+0.6%) bringing the stock to $49.84. Volume for Verizon Communications currently sits at 518,044 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 14.8 million shares.

Verizon Communications has a market cap of $202.29 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are up 5.9% year-to-date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 4.4%.

Verizon Communications Inc., through its subsidiaries, 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, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel its 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 McDonald's (NYSE: MCD), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 50-cent decline (-0.5%) bringing the stock to $100.18. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 3.78 points or roughly accounting for 14.5% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for McDonald's currently sits at 520,290 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 7.1 million shares.

McDonald's has a market cap of $93.95 billion and is part of the services sector and leisure industry. Shares are up 7.5% year-to-date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.5%.

McDonald's Corporation operates and franchises 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 products, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages.

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 and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

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