Dow Today: Merck (MRK) Leads The Day Higher, United Technologies (UTX) 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 up 12 points at 14,712. During the day, 514 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 601.7 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio closed at 1,206 issues advancing vs. 1,764 declining with 131 unchanged.
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The Dow component that led the way higher today was Merck (NYSE: MRK), which sported a 52-cent gain (+1.1%) bringing the stock to $47.87. This single gain is lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 3.94 points or roughly accounting for 32.8% of the Dow's overall gain. Volume for Merck ended the day at 10.6 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 16.6 million shares.

Merck has a market cap of $144.68 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 15.7% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 3.6%.

Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 24, 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 largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Holding the Dow back today was United Technologies (NYSE: UTX), which lagged the broader Dow index with a 96-cent decline (-1%) bringing the stock to $91.15. Volume for United Technologies ended the day at 2.9 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 3.6 million shares.

United Technologies has a market cap of $84.48 billion and is part of the industrial goods sector and aerospace/defense industry. Shares are up 12.3% year to date as of Thursday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 2.3%.

United Technologies Corporation provides technology products and services to the building systems and aerospace industries worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.3, 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 revenue growth, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

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