Dow Today: United Technologies (UTX) Leads The Day Higher, Merck (MRK) Lags

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) closed down 8.0 points at 13,164. During the day, 387.5 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 661.9 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 1,896 issues advancing vs. 1,108 declining with 105 unchanged.

The Dow component that led the way higher today was United Technologies (NYSE: UTX), which sported a 74-cent gain (+1%) bringing the stock to $77.99. Volume for United Technologies ended the day at 3.2 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 4.1 million shares.

United Technologies has a market cap of $70.65 billion and is part of the conglomerates sector and conglomerates industry. Shares are up 6.6% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.8%.

United Technologies Corporation provides technology products and services to the building systems and aerospace industries worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 13, below the average conglomerates industry P/E ratio of 13.5 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates United Technologies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Holding the Dow back today was Merck (NYSE: MRK), which lagged the broader Dow index with a 35-cent decline (-0.8%) bringing the stock to $44.06. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 2.65 points or roughly accounting for 33.1% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Merck ended the day at 7.4 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 15.7 million shares.

Merck has a market cap of $134.19 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 17.8% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.8%.

Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.3, equal to the average drugs industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates Merck as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, revenue growth and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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