Dow Today: AT&T (T) 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) is trading down 48.0 points (-0.3%) at 14,791 as of Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:35 a.m. ET. During this time, 29.8 million shares of the 30 Dow components have changed hands vs. an average daily trading volume of 602.1 million. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 823 issues advancing vs. 1,586 declining with 175 unchanged.
  • EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys Stocks Under $10 that he thinks could potentially double. See what he's trading today with a 14-day FREE pass.

The Dow component leading the way higher looks to be AT&T (NYSE: T), which is sporting a 23-cent gain (+0.6%) bringing the stock to $37.69. Volume for AT&T currently sits at 1.3 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 26.2 million shares.

AT&T has a market cap of $206.21 billion and is part of the technology sector and telecommunications industry. Shares are up 11.1% year to date as of Tuesday's close. The stock's dividend yield sits at 4.8%.

AT&T Inc. provides telecommunications services to consumers, businesses, and other providers in the United States and internationally. The company operates in three segments: Wireless, Wireline, and Other. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.7, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

TheStreet Ratings rates AT&T as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Holding back the Dow today is Merck (NYSE: MRK), which is lagging the broader Dow index with a $2.01 decline (-4.3%) bringing the stock to $44.99. This single loss is lowering the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 15.21 points or roughly accounting for 31.7% of the Dow's overall loss. Volume for Merck currently sits at 4.8 million shares traded vs. an average daily trading volume of 16.3 million shares.

Merck has a market cap of $144.29 billion and is part of the health care sector and drugs industry. Shares are up 14.8% year to date as of Tuesday'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 23.9, 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.

Exclusive Offer: Jim Cramer's 'go-to' small/mid-cap guru Bryan Ashenberg only buys stocks he thinks could return 50-100% See his top picks for 14-days FREE.
null

If you liked this article you might like

Irma and Harvey Busted Algos; Probably Done Deals Under Trump: Best of Cramer

Sprint T-Mobile Merger Will Have to Contend With This Wonky Number the DOJ Uses

T-Mobile and Sprint Will Have to Overcome These 4 Things in Order to Merge

T-Mobile and Sprint Reportedly Agree on a Deal to Split Ownership

Cord Cutters Aren't Just Leaving Pay-TV Because of Price