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) is trading down 290.0 points (-2.2%) at 12,955 as of Wednesday, Nov 7, 2012, 12:35 p.m. ET. During this time, 495.8 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 582.4 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 422 issues advancing vs. 2,567 declining with 75 unchanged.
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Holding back the Dow today is Merck (NYSE: MRK), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a $1.44 decline (-3.1%) bringing the stock to $44.48. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 10.9 points or roughly accounting for 3.8% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Merck currently sits at 13.1 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 10.7 million shares. Merck has a market cap of $139.09 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 21.8% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.7%. 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 13, below 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, increase in net income, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.