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.

All three major indices are trading up today with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

(

^DJI

) trading up 32 points (0.2%) at 18,091 as of Friday, April 24, 2015, 12:55 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,524 issues advancing vs. 1,405 declining with 207 unchanged.

The Drugs industry currently sits down 0.4% versus the S&P 500, which is up 0.3%. Top gainers within the industry include

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

(

TEVA

), up 1.3%,

Novo Nordisk A/S

(

NVO

), up 1.0% and

GlaxoSmithKline

(

GSK

), up 0.9%. On the negative front, top decliners within the industry include

AstraZeneca

(

AZN

), down 1.1%, and

Novartis

(

NVS

), down 0.8%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

3.

Merck

(

MRK

) is one of the companies pushing the Drugs industry higher today. As of noon trading, Merck is up $0.31 (0.5%) to $57.82 on light volume. Thus far, 3.5 million shares of Merck exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 11.1 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $57.51-$58.19 after having opened the day at $57.85 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $57.51.

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Merck & Co., Inc. provides health care solutions worldwide. Merck has a market cap of $163.2 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 1.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 6 analysts who rate Merck a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

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, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow. Get the full

Merck Ratings Report

now.

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2. As of noon trading,

AbbVie

(

ABBV

) is up $1.23 (1.9%) to $65.48 on average volume. Thus far, 7.3 million shares of AbbVie exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 12.7 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $64.14-$65.80 after having opened the day at $64.31 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $64.25.

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AbbVie Inc. discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells pharmaceutical products worldwide. AbbVie has a market cap of $102.7 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are down 1.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 8 analysts who rate AbbVie a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates

AbbVie

as a

hold

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and generally higher debt management risk. Get the full

AbbVie Ratings Report

now.

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1. As of noon trading,

Johnson & Johnson

(

JNJ

) is up $1.03 (1.0%) to $101.49 on light volume. Thus far, 3.0 million shares of Johnson & Johnson exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8.8 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $100.00-$101.53 after having opened the day at $100.11 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $100.46.

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Johnson & Johnson, together with its subsidiaries, researches and develops, manufactures, and sells various products in the health care field worldwide. It operates in three segments: Consumer, Pharmaceutical, and Medical Devices. Johnson & Johnson has a market cap of $279.3 billion and is part of the health care sector. Shares are down 3.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 9 analysts who rate Johnson & Johnson a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Johnson & Johnson

as a

buy

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

Johnson & Johnson Ratings Report

now.

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If you are interested in one of these 3 stocks, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the drugs industry could consider

SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF

(

XPH

) while those bearish on the drugs industry could consider

ProShares UltraShort Nasdaq Biotech

(

BIS

).

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