Dow Jones (DJIA) Today: Caterpillar (CAT) Leads The Day Higher, Microsoft (MSFT) 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 5.0 points at 18,280 as of Thursday, May 21, 2015, 9:36 a.m. ET. During this time, 13.6 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 364.2 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,596 issues advancing vs. 1,074 declining with 295 unchanged.
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The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), which is sporting a 55-cent gain (+0.6%) bringing the stock to $88.48. Volume for Caterpillar currently sits at 168,748 shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 5.4 million shares.

Caterpillar has a market cap of $52.67 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and industrial industry. Shares are down 3.9% year-to-date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.2%.

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 increase in net income, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. 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 Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 51-cent decline (-1.1%) bringing the stock to $47.07. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 3.86 points or roughly accounting for 77.2% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Microsoft currently sits at 1.4 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 37.6 million shares.

Microsoft has a market cap of $384.9 billion and is part of the technology sector and computer software & services industry. Shares are up 2.4% year-to-date as of Wednesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.6%.

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, markets, and supports software, services, and devices worldwide. The company's Devices and Consumer (D&C) Licensing segment licenses Windows operating system and related software; Microsoft Office for consumers; and Windows Phone operating system.

TheStreet Ratings rates Microsoft as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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