Dow Today: Merck (MRK) Higher

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) is trading down 32.0 points (-0.2%) at 13,196 as of Monday, Apr 30, 2012, 10:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 123.6 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 747.3 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 852 issues advancing vs. 1,946 declining with 159 unchanged.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be Merck (NYSE: MRK), which is sporting an 80-cent gain (+2.1%) bringing the stock to $39.26. Volume for Merck currently sits at 7.8 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 14.1 million shares.

Merck has a market cap of $117.05 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry.

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

TheStreet Ratings rates Merck as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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