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 101 points (+0.6%) at 18,086 as of Friday, Feb 20, 2015, 1:36 p.m. ET. During this time, 191.1 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 370.5 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,856 issues advancing vs. 1,188 declining with 119 unchanged.

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Holding back the Dow today is

Merck

(NYSE:

MRK

), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a 22-cent decline (-0.4%) bringing the stock to $58.08. Volume for Merck currently sits at 7.2 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 10.7 million shares.

Merck has a market cap of $167.63 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 2.7% year-to-date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.1%.

Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products worldwide.

TheStreet Ratings rates Merck as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and impressive record of earnings per share growth. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

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.

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